Non-Surgical Options

Hoag provides a full array of innovative non-surgical treatment options, including:


For bile duct cancers that are resectable, chemotherapy may be used after surgery (often along with radiation therapy) to try to lower the risk of cancer recurrence. This is known as adjuvant chemo. Chemotherapy may also be used before surgery for borderline resectable cancers to try to improve the odds that surgery will be successful. This is called neoadjuvant treatment. In addition, chemotherapy may be used (with or without radiation therapy) for more advanced cancers, or in cases of metastatic disease.

Arterial Chemotherapy

Arterial Chemotherapy (also referred to as Hepatic Artery Infusion) is designed to improve chemotherapy benefits by increasing the amount of chemotherapy delivered to the site of the tumor. Chemotherapy is dispensed from a specialized infusion system in which a catheter is placed into the hepatic artery to directly deliver the chemotherapy to the tumor site. Hoag-USC surgeons utilize a laparoscopic procedure for placing the catheter into the hepatic artery. This advanced laparoscopic technique eliminates the need for a large incision as used with open laparotomy. Furthermore, the postoperative recovery is much shorter and patients can be treated soon after the placement of the pump.

Radiation Therapy

For bile duct cancers that are resectable, radiation therapy may be used after surgery (often along with chemotherapy) to try to lower the risk of cancer recurrence. Radiation therapy is also used in selected cases to help control metastases that cannot be surgically removed, or are too large to be treated effectively with surgery alone.

Hoag radiation oncologists and medical physicists work together with the Hoag-USC team of bile duct cancer experts to develop an individualized treatment plan using the latest radiation therapy techniques, including treatment options such as Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT).