Gallbladder Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2017

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. Use the menu to see other pages.

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 best diagnostic and treatment options 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.

  • Medication 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. Drugs that target features specific to an individual cancer, such as certain genes or proteins, are called targeted therapies. The side effects of these drugs often differ from chemotherapy drugs.

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

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding gallbladder cancer, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Treatment. It offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.