Biphenotypic (hepatobiliary) primary liver carcinomas [B(H-B)PLCs] are rare tumors with features of both hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). These tumors are associated with a poor overall prognosis and treatment is not well defined. Research over the past 20 years has identified aberrations in several molecular pathways, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in hepatocellular and biliary tract cancers. These discoveries led to the evaluation of targeted therapies, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, for the treatment of HCC and ICC. We report a case of a patient with metastatic B(H-B)PLC found to have a single nucleotide variant in the EGFR gene locus R521K who achieved a complete response on imaging after treatment with the combination of an EGFR inhibitor and a VEGF inhibitor. This case prompts consideration of further genomic analysis of these rare tumors and the potential use of targeted therapies in the treatment of patients with B(H-B)PLCs.
Amy Zhou, Manik Amin, Kathryn J. Fowler, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Jesse Keller, and Benjamin Tan
Nikolaos A. Trikalinos, Amy Zhou, Maria B. Majella Doyle, Kathryn J. Fowler, Ashley Morton, Neeta Vachharajani, Manik Amin, Jesse W. Keller, William C. Chapman, Elizabeth M. Brunt, and Benjamin R. Tan
Background: Combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma tumors (cHCC-CCA) are a heterogeneous group of rare malignancies that have no established optimal treatment. Patients and Methods: We identified patients with cHCC-CCA treated at a tertiary center and retrospectively examined their histology, interventions, and outcomes. We calculated disease control rate (DCR), disease progression, overall survival, and progression-free survival (PFS) between treatment subgroups. Results: A total of 123 patients were evaluable. Interventions included resection, locoregional therapy, transplant, chemotherapy, and targeted agents. Ultimately, 68 patients received systemic treatment—57 with gemcitabine plus either 5-fluoropyrimidine (5-FU) or a platinum combination. Disease progression was more common in the gemcitabine/5-FU group versus gemcitabine/platinum (P=.028), whereas DCR favored gemcitabine/platinum (78.4% vs 38.5%; P=.0143). Median PFS from time of initial diagnosis favored the gemcitabine/platinum group, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. Targeted agents had minimal to no effect on survival metrics. Conclusions: Gemcitabine/platinum seems to be a superior regimen for patients with cHCC-CCA who require systemic treatment. Further studies are needed to clarify the regimen's efficacy and applicability in patient subgroups.