Clin Endosc.  2022 May;55(3):347-354. 10.5946/ce.2021.274.

Comparing palliative treatment options for cholangiocarcinoma: photodynamic therapy vs. radiofrequency ablation

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, USA


Referral to an endoscopist is often done once curative resection is no longer an option for cholangiocarcinoma management. In such cases, palliation has become the main objective of the treatment. Photodynamic therapy and radiofrequency ablation can be performed to achieve palliation, with both procedures associated with improved stent patency and survival. Despite the greatly increased cost and association with photosensitivity, photodynamic therapy allows transmission to the entire biliary tree. In contrast, radiofrequency ablation is cheaper and faster to apply but requires intraductal contact. This paper reviews both modalities and compares their efficacy and safety for bile duct cancer palliation.


Cholangiocarcinoma; Photodynamic therapy; Ablation treatment; Bile duct neoplasms
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