Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancer of the bile ducts, which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine. It is a relatively rare cancer, with an annual incidence of 1–2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world, but rates of cholangiocarcinoma have been rising worldwide over the past several decades. Risk factors for cholangiocarcinoma include primary sclerosing cholangitis (an inflammatory disease of the bile ducts), congenital liver malformations, infection with the parasitic liver flukes Opisthorchis viverrini or Clonorchis sinensis, and exposure to Thorotrast (thorium dioxide), a chemical previously used in medical imaging. The symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include jaundice, weight loss, and sometimes generalized itching. The disease is diagnosed through a combination of blood tests, imaging, endoscopy, and sometimes surgical exploration.
hTERT (human telomerase reverse transcriptase)
detection of circulating hTERT mRNA was identified in almost all cholangiocarcinoma patients. It offers a novel tumor marker, which can be used as a complementary study for diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma. PMID: 16830373
a marker for differential diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma from hepatocellular carcinoma. PMID: 12191675