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Highlighting Jazz’s Commitment to the Biliary Tract Cancer Community This Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness Month

Elaina Gartner, Vice President Medical, Late-Stage Development, Oncology Clinical Development, Jazz Pharmaceuticals

February is Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness Month, a time to bring attention to biliary tract cancer (BTC) and the unmet needs of people living with this rare type of cancer, as well as the research underway to bring more options to patients and their families. BTC, including gallbladder cancer and cholangiocarcinoma, is an aggressive type of cancer often associated with poor prognosis, and impacts more than 210,000 people globally every year.1

At Jazz, one focus of our development team is researching a possible treatment that targets a protein known as HER2, which can be overexpressed in multiple tumor types, including BTC. HER2-positive cancers can grow and spread faster than cancers that are HER2-negative, which can impact overall prognosis.2

While not everyone diagnosed with a BTC will have it display HER2-positivity, it is important to test for HER2 expression when determining the appropriate treatment plan. Considering the rate of HER2 expression in BTC – around 5-19% of BTC cases are HER2-positive3 – HER2 is a potential therapeutic target in advanced BTC. While there are currently no approved HER2-targeted therapies for BTC, clinical research is underway investigating HER2-targeted therapies as a potential option for these cancers,3 and Jazz is energized to be at the forefront of this pioneering research.

We know that the patients we serve face a difficult road ahead, often with limited treatment options and suboptimal survival odds. As we advance our work and capabilities in oncology, we explore ways to deliver new value to patients beyond traditional R&D by providing information and resources that will help them throughout the patient journey. This Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness Month, learn more about the role of HER2-protein expression in BTC from one such resource, available here.


  1. GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, 
    prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet. 2018;392(10159):1789-1858
  2. Iqbal N, et al. Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) in Cancers: Overexpression and Therapeutic Implications. Mol Biol Int. 2014;2014:852748.
  3. Galdy et al. HER2/HER3 pathway in biliary tract malignancies; systematic review and meta-analysis: a potential therapeutic target? Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2016;36(1):141–157.