John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
A family member was recently diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. Could you provide me with any information regarding this tumor and ongoing clinical trials, conventional or experimental?
Thank you for your attention.
John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD, Editorial Assistants for Oncolink, respond:
Thank you for your question.
Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancer of the biliary system-which is the "tubing" that transports bile made in the liver to the intestinal tract. Clinically these tumors are divided into two groups
- Those that occur within the liver (intrahepatic) and
- Those that occur outside the liver (extrahepatic).
Extrahepatic tumors also are divided into two broad groups:
- those that occur near the pancreas (peri-pancreatic) and
- those that occur in the biliary system at a distance from the pancreas
Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas are also treated with surgery, but often resection of the tumor is not possible and patients are treated primarily with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
For information on ongoing national clinical trials please see OncoLink's Clinical Trials page.