Researchers discovered that patients with cholangiocarcinoma who had high Holliday junction recognition protein (HJURP) levels were at a greater risk of a poor prognosis. They reported their findings in Frontiers in Oncology.

Generally, the clinical outcomes of patients diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma are poor due to the late presentation of symptoms coupled with inadequate responses to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Cholangiocarcinoma is classified according to its anatomical location (intrahepatic, perihilar, or distal), with each subtype having its own etiology, oncological behavior, treatment, and prognosis.

“[Cholangiocarcinoma] is featured with poor prognosis and limited treatment options,” the authors of the study wrote. “To identify more prognostic biomarkers and promote more biomarker-driven studies is urgently needed.” 

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HJURP has been known to promote progression in various types of cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and glioblastoma. HJURP expression has been identified as an important prognostic biomarker in a number of cancers, including colon cancer and breast cancer. However, its relevance in cholangiocarcinoma had not been explored. 

Read more about cholangiocarcinoma prognosis 

The authors of the study hence investigated the expression of HJURP in 127 patients with cholangiocarcinoma who had undergone radical surgery. Among the 127 patients, 32 had intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, 71 had perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, and 24 had distal cholangiocarcinoma. 

“With chi-square test and univariate and multivariate analyses, we evaluated the clinical correlation and prognostic significance of HJURP” in all 3 types of cholangiocarcinoma, the authors of the study wrote. 

The results of the study indicated that HJURP expression was detected in all the patients recruited. In addition, the research team discovered that HJURP served as an independent prognostic biomarker in intrahepatic and perihilar cholangiocarcinomas but not distal cholangiocarcinoma. 

The study neither investigated the role of HJURP in cholangiocarcinoma progression nor did it explore the molecular mechanisms underpinning how HJURP contributes to cholangiocarcinoma prognosis. Therefore, both areas are ripe for further research. 


Yang Y, Yuan J, Liu Z, Cao W, Liu P. The expression, clinical relevance, and prognostic significance of HJURP in cholangiocarcinomaFront Oncol. 2022;12:972550. doi:10.3389/fonc.2022.972550