lunes, 21 de mayo de 2012

Laser Zaps Bile Duct Cancer | Medical News and Health Information

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Laser Zaps Bile Duct Cancer | Medical News and Health Information

Laser Zaps Bile Duct Cancer -- Research Summary

BACKGROUND: The bile duct is a thin tube, about four to five inches long, that reaches from the liver to the small intestine. The major function of the bile duct is to move a fluid called bile from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine, where it helps digest the fats in foods. Bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous (malignant) growth in one of the ducts.  (SOURCE:,

Bile duct cancer is extremely rare, only two out of every 100,000 people are diagnosed with this disease, and most patients are over the age of 65. Both men and women can contract bile duct cancer. Based on its location, bile duct cancer is divided into three groups: Intrahepatic, Perihilar (also called hilar), and Distal. Intrahepatic bile duct cancers develop in the smaller bile duct branches inside the liver, Perihilar in the hilum, where the hepatic ducts have joined and are just leaving the liver, and Distal bile duct cancers are found further down the bile duct, closer to the small intestine. (SOURCE:

The goal is to treat the cancer and the blockage it causes. Endoscopic therapy with stent placement can temporarily relieve blockages in the biliary ducts and relieve jaundice in patients. Laser therapy combined with light-activated chemotherapy medications is another treatment option for those with blockages of the bile duct. When possible, surgery to remove the tumor is the treatment of choice, and may result in a cure. Traditionally, the disease is treated with resection, surgically removing the tumor, but in many cases the cancer tends to continue to spread around the bile duct. In the past, patients with non-resectable bile duct cancer had little chance of survival.  (SOURCE:

A TRANSPLANT FOR CANCER CURE: According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, treatment of nonresectable bile duct cancer with photodynamic therapy results in improved patient survival. With this approach, a photosensitizing agent (an agent that makes cells sensitive to light) is applied to cancer cells. A laser light with a specific wave length can then be used to destroy the cells. The precancerous and cancerous cells bind to the drug, allowing doctors to target them. Then, carefully, a flexible fiber thread goes down through the intestines into the bile ducts and exposes the cells to a laser which destroys them. Over the subsequent days and weeks, the tumor cells die and the bile ducts are opened. Because the treatment is given from the center of the tumor, the laser cannot penetrate through the entire mass, so some tumor cells remain. Unlike radiation, patients can repeat the photodynamic therapy treatments as often as needed. (Source: American Journal of Gastroenterology, Jefferson University Hospitals) MORE
Laser Zaps Bile Duct Cancer -- Research Summary | Medical News and Health Information 

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Laser Zaps Bile Duct Cancer -- In Depth Doctor's Interview | Medical News and Health Information

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