FGFR2-IIIb Expression by Immunohistochemistry Has High Specificity in Cholangiocarcinoma with FGFR2 Genomic Alterations

Pedro Luiz Serrano Uson Junior, Thomas T. DeLeon, James M. Bogenberger, Rish K. Pai, Heidi E. Kosiorek, Jun Yin, Daniel H. Ahn, Mohammad Bassam Sonbol, Tanios Bekaii-Saab, Aaron S. Mansfield, Kenneth Buetow, Gregory J. Gores, Rory Smoot, George Vasmatzis, Benjamin R. Kipp, Amit Mahipal, Alexander T. Baker, Hani Babiker, Oumar Barro, Chelsae DumbauldYumei Zhou, Faaiq N. Aslam, Michael Barrett, Bertram Jacobs, Nathalie Meurice, Mansi Arora, Joachim Petit, Natalie Elliott, Bolni Nagalo, Marcela A. Salomao, Mitesh J. Borad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: FGFR2 genomic alterations are observed in 10–20% of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Although FGFR2 fusions are an important actionable target, FGFR2 protein expression has not been thoroughly characterized. Aims: To evaluate FGFR2 protein expression in cholangiocarcinoma harboring FGFR2 genomic alterations. Methods: FGFR2 protein expression was evaluated in 99 CCA cases with two different antibodies. FGFR2 genomic alterations were confirmed via next-generating sequencing (NGS) or FISH. Primary objective was to determine the specificity and sensitivity of FGFR2 immunohistochemistry staining for detecting FGFR2 genomic alterations. Secondary objectives included overall FGFR2 immunohistochemistry staining in CCA patients, and evaluation of whether FGFR2 expression correlates with clinical outcomes including overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and time-to-tumor recurrence (TTR). Results: Immunohistochemistry staining with two antibodies against FGFR2, FPR2-D, and clone 98706 showed high accuracy (78.7% and 91.9%) and specificity (82.9% and 97.7%), and moderate sensitivity (53.9% and 57.1%), respectively, when compared with the standard methods for detecting FGFR2 genomic alterations. In a median follow-up of 72 months, there were no statistically significant differences in OS, PFS, and TTR, for patients with positive or negative FGFR2 staining. Conclusion: FGFR2 protein expression by immunohistochemistry has high specificity and therefore could be used to imply the presence of FGFR2 genomic alterations in the context of a positive test. In the case of a negative test, NGS or FISH would be necessary to ascertain cases with FGFR2 genomic alterations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3797-3805
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • FGFR2 protein
  • Genomics
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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