Cholangiocarcinoma: A position paper by the Italian Society of Gastroenterology (SIGE), the Italian Association of Hospital Gastroenterology (AIGO), the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) and the Italian Association of Oncological Radiotherapy (AIRO)

Domenico Alvaro, Renato Cannizzaro, Roberto Labianca, Francesca Valvo, Fabio Farinati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The incidence of Cholangiocellular carcinoma (CCA) is increasing, due to a sharp increase of the intra-hepatic form. Evidence-ascertained risk factors for CCA are primary sclerosing cholangitis, Opistorchis viverrini infection, Caroli disease, congenital choledocal cist, Vater ampulla adenoma, bile duct adenoma and intra-hepatic lithiasis. Obesity, diabetes, smoking, abnormal biliary-pancreatic junction, bilio-enteric surgery, and viral cirrhosis are emerging risk factors, but their role still needs to be validated. Patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis should undergo surveillance, even though a survival benefit has not been clearly demonstrated.CCA is most often diagnosed in an advanced stage, when therapeutic options are limited to palliation. Diagnosis of the tumor is often difficult and multiple imaging techniques should be used, particularly for staging.Surgery is the standard of care for resectable CCA, whilst liver transplantation should be considered only in experimental settings. Metal stenting is the standard of care in inoperable patients with an expected survival >4 months. Gemcitabine or platinum analogues are recommended in advanced CCA whilst there are no validated neo-adjuvant treatments or second-line chemotherapies. Even though promising results have been obtained in CCA with radiotherapy, further randomized controlled trials are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-838
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010



  • Chemotherapy
  • Cholangiocellular carcinoma
  • Diagnosis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Risk factors
  • Standard of care
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology

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