Photodynamic Therapy in Cholangiocarcinoma

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Most patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma have unresectable disease and require palliation with biliary stenting to alleviate symptoms. Although chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been ineffective, many studies have suggested that the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT) may improve quality of life and perhaps survival in these patients. The ability of PDT to transmit through bile makes it a unique platform for intervention in the biliary tree. This article addresses the clinical implications of endoscopic biliary drainage, explores past and present study findings with PDT for cholangiocarcinoma, and offers an introduction to the novel techniques for direct visualization.

Correspondence: Michel Kahaleh, MD, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, 1305 York Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10021. E-mail: mik9071@med.cornell.edu

Dr. Kahaleh serves as principal investigator in studies of photodynamic therapy in cholangiocarcinoma, without outside funding.

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