Gallbladder cancer radiation therapy can be used to treat tumors that cannot be surgically removed. This treatment involves the use of precisely targeted high-energy beams to destroy cancerous cells, control tumor growth and impede the spread of cancer. Sometimes, it is recommended after surgery to address residual cancer cells and help prevent recurrence. Radiation therapy can also help relieve the symptoms associated with advanced gallbladder cancer, such as nerve pressure, bile duct blockages, jaundice and pain.
Patients who turn to Moffitt Cancer Center for gallbladder cancer treatment are evaluated by a multispecialty team of experts. This talented tumor board collaboratively develops a highly individualized treatment plan for each patient, providing the advantage of multiple expert opinions in a single location without the need for referrals.
If Moffitt's tumor board recommends radiation therapy for treating a patient’s gallbladder cancer, comprehensive planning will take place before treatment begins. In general, this process includes:
Evaluating detailed images, such as CT, MRI and/or PET scans, that provide a "map" of the cancer and its surrounding structures
Determining the ideal radiation treatment delivery method, target area and dosage, and then programming the delivery equipment in accordance with the plan and running any necessary simulations
Marking the patient’s skin with pinpoint-sized “tattoos” to ensure precise and consistent treatment delivery throughout the duration of treatment
Explaining the treatment process, including the time requirements for each session and what the patient can expect to see, feel and hear during treatment
Typically, a complete course of gallbladder cancer radiation treatment will span four to five weeks, with sessions administered daily on Monday through Friday. By performing many short sessions rather than fewer high-dose sessions, the likelihood of side effects can be reduced.
As one of the leading cancer centers in the nation, Moffitt offers the latest and most advanced treatment options for gallbladder cancer. Our ongoing research leads to new discoveries every day, and we have a robust portfolio of clinical trials through which we evaluate promising new treatments and make them available to our patients.