Gallbladder Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Doctors are working to learn more about gallbladder cancer, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.

  • Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. Current clinical trials are testing immunotherapy as a way to treat gallbladder cancer. Learn more about immunotherapy.

  • Gene therapy. Gene therapy is an experimental treatment that involves introducing genetic material into a person’s cells to treat cancer. Gene therapy is being studied in clinical trials for many different types of cancer and for other diseases.

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy improvements. Currently, the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for the treatment of gallbladder cancer is limited. Clinical trials are evaluating new drugs for gallbladder cancer and trying to increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

  • Palliative care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current gallbladder cancer treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.

The next section in this guide is Coping with Side Effects and it offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.