Image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) for biliary adenocarcinomas: Initial clinical results

Clifton David Fuller, Nguyen Dinh Dang, Samuel J. Wang, Prashant Desai, Mehee Choi, Charles R. Thomas, Martin Fuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: Biliary tract lesions are comparatively rare neoplasms, with ambiguous indications for radiotherapy. The specific aim of this study was to report the clinical results of a single-institution biliary tract series treated with modern radiotherapeutic techniques, and detail results using both conventional and image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT). Methods and materials: From 2001 to 2005, 24 patients with primary adenocarcinoma of the biliary tract (gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts) were treated by IG-IMRT. To compare outcomes, data from a sequential series of 24 patients treated between 1995 and 2005 with conventional radiotherapy (CRT) techniques were collected as a comparator set. Demographic and treatment parameters were collected. Endpoints analyzed included treatment-related acute toxicity and survival. Results: Median estimated survival for all patients completing treatment was 13.9 months. A statistically significant higher mean dose was given to patients receiving IG-IMRT compared to CRT, 59 vs. 48 Gy. IG-IMRT and CRT cohorts had a median survival of 17.6 and 9.0 months, respectively. Surgical resection was associated with improved survival. Two patients (4%) experienced an RTOG acute toxicity score > 2. The most commonly reported GI toxicities (≥RTOG Grade 2) were nausea or diarrhea requiring oral medication, experienced by 46% of patients. Conclusion: This series presents the first clinical outcomes of biliary tract cancers treated with IG-IMRT. In comparison to a cohort of patients treated by conventional radiation techniques, IG-IMRT was feasible for biliary tract tumors, warranting further investigation in prospective clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Biliary tract cancer
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT)
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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