Cholangiocarcinoma (CC), the malignant tumor of the epithelial cells lining the biliary ducts, has undergone a worldwide increase in incidence and mortality. The malignant transformation of the biliary cells originates from a multistep process evolving through chronic inflammation of the biliary tract to CC. In the last few years several advances have been towards understanding and clarifying the molecular mechanisms implicated in the cholangiocarcinogenesis process. However, many pathophysiologic aspects governing the growth of CC are still undefined. The poor prognosis of this tumor underlines the urgent need to codify the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the growth and progression of CC in order to design effective preventive measures and valid treatment regimens. This review reports on progresses made in the last few years in clarifying the molecular pathways involved in the process of cholangiocarcinogenesis.
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