The Duke Cancer Institute takes an interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of gallbladder and biliary cancer. Our team of specialists is dedicated to providing patients with the most advanced therapies for the treatment of this rare cancer.
Gallbladder and biliary cancers are often difficult to diagnose in the early stages because there aren’t any obvious symptoms until the disease has progressed.
The Duke Cancer Institute uses state-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic techniques to diagnose and identify the stage of biliary and gallbladder cancer. These include:
Knowing how far the cancer has progressed allows our multidisciplinary team of specialists to select the best treatment plan for your individual situation.
The Duke Cancer Institute is dedicated to providing patients with a personalized treatment plan to most aggressively fight their cancer while minimizing complications.
Novel treatments are often available through a robust clinical trials program.
Surgery is the main treatment option for many gastrointestinal cancers. It may be used to remove the cancer or, in advanced cases in which the cancer cannot be completely removed, to open up blockages to reduce symptoms. Surgery is commonly combined with other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation.
If the cancer has not spread beyond the gallbladder, removing the tumor surgically offers hope to cure the cancer completely. Surgery to remove the gallbladder and some of the surrounding tissue is called cholecystectomy.
For patients whose cancer has spread, the surgical oncologists at the Duke Cancer Institute offer a number of palliative surgical treatments to help improve quality of life:
Duke is a national leader in using preoperative chemotherapy and radiation treatments to shrink tumors in patients with gallbladder or biliary cancer before surgery to reduce complications and improve outcomes.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. Systemic chemotherapy uses drugs that are given via a vein or by mouth, treating the whole body. Regional chemotherapy is injected into an artery to treat only one part of the body.
Radiation involves using high-energy rays to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery, to shrink tumors before surgery, or to relieve symptoms. It may be administered externally using a machine, or internally by implanting wires, seeds, or wafers that emit radiation inside the body directly near tumors. The method of administration depends on the location and size of the tumors.
Learn how to make an appointment at the Duke Cancer Institute.