Cholangiocarcinoma

This section of AMMF’s website is new and will be evolving as new information becomes available.

The aim of this section is to give as much information as possible on cholangiocarcinoma in one, readily accessible place. However, it is not appropriate for AMMF to give advice or recommendations, and all the information provided is for information purposes only.

AMMF is the only registered charity in the UK working to raise funds for research into cholangiocarcinoma, a liver cancer occuring within the bile ducts.

The charity’s current objectives are to raise the awareness of cholangiocarcinoma, to impart information and to support specialised research teams in their work to find the causes, methods of earlier diagnosis and treatments for this disease.

“Cholangiocarcinoma is a devastating malignancy that presents late, is notoriously difficult to diagnose, and is associated with a high mortality. The incidence of intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma is increasing worldwide. The cause for this rise is unclear, although it could be related to an interplay between predisposing genetic factors and environmental triggers.

MRI and CT with endoscopic ultrasound and PET provide useful diagnostic information in certain patients. Surgical resection is the only chance for cure, with results depending on careful technique and patient selection. Data suggest that liver transplantation could offer long-term survival in selected patients when combined with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been ineffective for patients with inoperable tumours. For most of these patients biliary drainage is the mainstay of palliation. However, controversy exists over the type and positioning of biliary stents. Photodynamic treatment is a new palliative technique that might improve quality of life.”

Khan SA, Thomas HC, Davidson BR, Taylor-Robinson SD.
Liver Unit, Division of Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital Campus, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK. shahid.khan@imperial.ac.uk
Lancet. 2006 May 20;367(9523):1656.

“Cholangiocarcinoma presents a formidable diagnostic and treatment challenge. The majority of patients present with unresectable disease and have a survival of less than 12 months following diagnosis.

Progress has been made by the appropriate selection of patients for treatment options including resection, with the routine use of more aggressive resections in order to achieve margin-negative resections. This has resulted in longer survival times for these patients.

Neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapies have, for the most part, not improved survival in patients with this tumor, and new strategies are needed to improve this line of therapy. The prognosis for unresectable patients is poor, and palliative measures should be aimed at increasing quality of life first and increasing survival second.”

From the paper, “Management of Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma in the North of England: Pathology, Treatment, and Outcome.”

SD Mansfield, O Barakat, RM Charnley, BC Jaques, CB O’Suilleabhain, PJ Atherton, D Manas
World J Gastroenterol 2005;11(48):7625-7630
World Journal of Gastroenterology ISSN 1007-9327

Cholangiocarcinoma

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