The fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) could be useful as a biomarker for patients with cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), according to a study recently published in Hepatology Research.

“We showed that FGFR2 high expression was an independent prognostic factor for recurrence of resected ICC,” the authors wrote.

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This retrospective observational study included 92 patients previously diagnosed with intrahepatic CCA that had undergone a hepatectomy. The authors performed immunohistochemical staining to determine the presence of the FGFR2 and cluster of differentiation, while also testing for tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes with a hematoxylin and eosin stain.

Most of the patients (74) were FGFR2 negative. Among these, most were male, had higher amounts of carcinoembryonic antigen, and lower albumin in serum. Importantly, the disease-free survival rate was lower among the FGFR2-positive group when compared to the individuals without FGFR2.

Coherently, when analyzing all elements that could potentially relate to disease-free survival, the researchers identified 3 different factors that independently had a prognostic value. For example, tumor location, in which aspect the perihilar types showcased the worst outcomes. Likewise, a maximum tumor size of 5 cm or larger and FGFR2 positivity were also associated with lower disease-free survival rates. On the other hand, there was no difference between both groups regarding tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.

“We found that high expression of FGFR2 in tumor tissue was a significant predictor of DFS in patients who underwent surgical resection for ICC and that FGFR2 expression does not correlate with TILs in the TME in ICC,” the authors explained.

The FGFR2 has been known to play an important role in cancer progression, cell survival, proliferation, and migration, as well as angiogenesis. Moreover, the tyrosine kinase fusions of the FGFR2 are current targets in some cancers, while its high expression seems to further correlate with poorer prognosis in colorectal and gastric cancer.


Toshida K, Itoh S, Yugawa K. Prognostic significance for recurrence of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma patients undergoing curative hepatic resection. Hepatol Res. Published online December 30, 2022. doi:10.1111/hepr.13875