Background: To explore the role of radiotherapy in the extrahepatic bile duct carcinoma, and to understand if and when radiotherapy could be effective for this group of patients. Methods: A systematic review of recently published literature was completed. Recent studies using radiotherapy with survival data, resection rates and quality of life data have been analyzed. Results: There are no randomized trials regarding the treatment of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. The bulk of available studies suggest that in some cases radio-chemotherapy can be used as adjuvant therapy. Radiotherapy could also have a role in unresectable cholangiocarcinoma: external radiotherapy or intraluminal brachytherapy - alone or in combination - could improve the outcome in selected patients.Finally, radiotherapy, and in particular intraluminal brachytherapy, could be used as a palliative treatment to improve the quality of life and in controlling symptoms. Conclusion: The role of radiotherapy in extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma remains undefined due to the lack of randomized trials or otherwise properly controlled studies.
- Intraoperative radiotherapy
- Palliative therapy
- Resectable cholangiocarcinoma
- Unresectable cholangiocarcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology