In Vivo Models for Cholangiocarcinoma—What Can We Learn for Human Disease?
Raphael Mohr | Burcin Özdirik | Jana Knorr | Alexander Wree | Münevver Demir | Frank Tacke | Christoph Roderburg
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) comprises a heterogeneous group of primary liver tumors. They emerge from different hepatic (progenitor) cell populations, typically via sporadic mutations. Chronic biliary inflammation, as seen in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), may trigger CCA development. Although several efforts were made in the last decade to better understand the complex processes of biliary carcinogenesis, it was only recently that new therapeutic advances have been achieved. Animal models are a crucial bridge between in vitro findings on molecular or genetic alterations, pathophysiological understanding, and new therapeutic strategies for the clinic. Nevertheless, it is inherently difficult to recapitulate simultaneously the stromal microenvironment (e.g., immune-competent cells, cholestasis, inflammation, PSC-like changes, fibrosis) and the tumor biology (e.g., mutational burden, local growth, and metastatic spread) in an animal model, so that it would reflect the full clinical reality of CCA. In this review, we highlight available data on animal models for CCA. We discuss if and how these models reflect human disease and whether they can serve as a tool for understanding the pathogenesis, or for predicting a treatment response in patients. In addition, open issues for future developments will be discussed.Show more [+] Less [-]