Although cholangiocarcinoma is a relatively rare condition, it is the second most frequent primary liver tumour. It originates from the epithelial cells of the biliary ducts and it might be extra-hepatic (the commonest form) and intra-hepatic, depending on its location.
Pathologic and radiologic findings of the disease vary depending on the underlying risk factors for developing the condition, which include genetic predisposition, chronic liver inflammation, as well as congenital biliary tract anomalies.
Cholangiocarcinoma often goes unnoticed with vague symptomatology and it is diagnosed at advanced stages. The disease often metastasises to both regional and distant lymph nodes. Patients’ life expectancy is poor and there are limited treatment options.
Transarterial chemoembolisation is a particularly satisfactory alternative treatment for the disease, which offers patients very good quality of life and good life expectancy, sometimes exceeding those of other methods.
At the Interbalkan Medical Centre, Dr Ioannis Dedes performs chemoembolisations to treat patients with cholangiocarcinoma with very encouraging results. Dr Dedes also performs percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and stent placement in cases of obstructive jaundice, which is a very frequent cholangiocarcinoma symptom.