Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 396–404

Chemotherapy for the Biliary Tract Cancers: Moving Toward Improved Survival Time

  • Adriana Romiti
  • Chiara D’Antonio
  • Angelo Zullo
  • Ida Sarcina
  • Roberta Di Rocco
  • Viola Barucca
  • Valeria Durante
  • Paolo Marchetti
Review Article



The biliary tract carcinomas rank fifth in incidence among all gastrointestinal tumours. This group of tumours includes both cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder carcinoma. Although surgery represents the main therapeutic option for these patients, both radiotherapy and chemotherapy could be used in a multidisciplinary approach. Several studies are currently available on the use of chemotherapy, including 5-fluorouracil, mitomycin C, methotrexate, doxorubicin and cisplatin or newer anticancer molecules, such as gemcitabine, capecitabine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan. However, the small sample size of most of these studies prevents generalization.


We reviewed the available data on both chemotherapy and targeted therapies for biliary carcinoma. By using conventional chemotherapy, a response rate ranging from 10% to 40% has been reported. Although encouraging data emerged with the use of targeted therapies, further efforts are needed to improve treatment options for patients with biliary tract cancer.


Cholangiocarcinoma Gallbladder cancer Chemotherapy Treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriana Romiti
    • 1
  • Chiara D’Antonio
    • 1
  • Angelo Zullo
    • 2
  • Ida Sarcina
    • 1
  • Roberta Di Rocco
    • 1
  • Viola Barucca
    • 1
  • Valeria Durante
    • 1
  • Paolo Marchetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Sant’Andrea Hospital“La Sapienza” UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy“Nuovo Regina Margherita” HospitalRomeItaly

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