Endoscopic treatment options for cholangiocarcinomas

Academic Article


  • Cholangiocellular carcinoma (CCC) is a very aggressive tumor, which remains highly resistant to current chemoradiation therapies. Death is usually caused by the tumor burden. However, biliary obstruction, which leads to cholangitis and liver failure, is also a cause of death. Therefore, relief of biliary obstruction is one of the key palliative treatment options for patients with hilar or distal CCC. Radiologic or endoscopic insertions of stents (plastic or self-expanding metal) are definite biliary drainage options. Whereas stents alone can help achieve relief of bile duct obstruction, endoscopic ablative interventions with photodynamic therapy or radiofrequency ablation are also useful in destroying intraluminal tumor. Destroying the tumor leads to an increase in the luminal diameter of the obstructed bile duct, allowing for placement of more or larger diameter stents, and thus improving bile flow. Besides decreasing morbidity associated with obstruction, ablative therapies such as photodynamic therapy have also been associated with improved survival in a sub-group of patients with CCC and should therefore be incorporated into the treatment algorithm of any center treating patients with CCC. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mönkemüller K; Popa D; Wilcox CM
  • Start Page

  • 407
  • End Page

  • 418
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 4