Cancer of the bile ducts – the tubes which carry bile from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine - is a very rare disease, striking about 2500 Americans each year, mostly older adults.

Bile duct tumors tend to grow slowly and spread gradually. However, this disease is difficult to detect early because bile ducts are deep inside the body where tumors cannot be felt during a physical exam. Symptoms typically don't develop until the tumors have grown significantly or a bile duct is blocked.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bile duct cancer, or you suspect you may have the disease, talk to us. It's important to learn about your options and take action right away.

Removing bile duct tumors surgically is challenging because bile ducts are located near the major blood vessels that feed the liver. It's essential to seek out a specialized cancer center for such complex surgery. City of Hope surgeons are experts in the intricate procedures required to treat bile duct cancer. Our world-class staff can answer your questions, address your concerns, and deliver a personalized treatment plan with the most innovative, cutting-edge therapies available anywhere.

At City of Hope, we are committed to treating the whole person, body and soul. We have an unmatched reputation for coordinated, compassionate care. We bring together a broad array of cancer expertise from multiple disciplines, all under one roof:

  • State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and mapping tools
  • Renowned surgeons with specialized bile duct cancer expertise
  • Robotically-assisted surgery using the da Vinci system
  • Minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures
  • Ultra-precise radiation therapy including helical TomoTherapy and brachytherapy
  • Chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy
  • Pioneering drug research and clinical trials

Plus, your supportive care continues long after treatment is complete. Our specialists will help you adjust to post-treatment diet and lifestyle changes, and our unique family and survivorship programs will assist your loved ones.

Nationally Ranked Cancer Center

As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute , City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in bile duct cancer research and treatment. With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their needs and gives them the best chance for survival. U.S. News & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country.

Learn more about bile duct cancer, including its risk factors and symptoms.

Care Team

City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers utilize the latest in technology and innovation to treat cancer, coupled with our enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care. If you have been diagnosed with bile duct cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.

Yi-Jen Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Radiation Oncology
Vincent Chung, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Medical Oncology
Donald S David, M.D., F.A.C.G.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Gastroenterology
Marwan G. Fakih, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Medical Oncology
Yuman Fong, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Surgical Oncology
Lily Lai, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Surgical Oncology
Dean W. Lim, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Medical Oncology
Laleh Melstrom, M.D.,M.S., F.A.C.S.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Melanoma and Sarcoma
  • Liver Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
Singh-Gagandeep 2
Gagandeep Singh, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Surgical Oncology
  • Liver and Pancreatic Surgery
Yanghee Woo bio portrait
Yanghee Woo, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Surgical Oncology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Robotic Surgery
Finly Zachariah, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Palliative Medicine

Tests & Treatments

Every patient is different, with different needs. City of Hope treats you as a valued individual. Our entire team works together to bring you precise, state-of-the-art surgical, radiation, drug and other therapy options that will deliver the best outcome for you. We support you every step of the way, both during treatment and long after, helping you and your loved ones manage your recovery.

Highlights of City of Hope's bile duct cancer treatment program include:

  • Minimally invasive surgery: When possible, our surgeons will take a minimally invasive approaches to remove bile duct cancer, such as laparoscopic surgery (using miniaturized operation instruments inserted through a thin tube) and robotically-assisted surgery (using a specially-designed robot equipped with miniature surgical tools and advanced imaging systems, giving the surgeon superior visualization and greater control at the tumor site.
  • Precise radiation delivery: Using advanced imaging techniques, our radiation team can accurately locate and target a bile duct tumor for treatment, ensuring maximum impact against cancer cells while minimizing exposure to surrounding normal tissues. At City of Hope, these techniques include respiratory gating and four-dimensional computed tomography, to account for organ and tumor movements during breathing.
  • Hepatic Arterial Infusion (HAI): A new development in delivery chemotherapy to treat bile duct cancer, HAI uses a tiny pump implanted under the skin in the lower abdomen to deliver cancer-killing drugs directly into the main blood vessel entering the liver and surrounding organs, including the bile duct. This direct method of chemotherapy delivery can be more effective against bile duct cancer.
  • Novel drug trials: In addition to standard chemotherapy regimens, City of Hope patients can enroll in clinical trials testing new drugs (or new drug combinations) that may be more effective against the disease and/or less toxic to normal tissues.

Learn more about diagnostic tests and treatment options for bile duct cancer, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and stent placement (if cancer is clogging the bile duct and needs to be unblocked)

Clinical Trials

Through our clinical trials program – one of the most extensive in the nation – bile duct cancer patients can often access promising new anticancer drugs and technologies not available elsewhere.


When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your family cope with each challenge in your bile cancer diagnosis and treatment. We can help with all of these concerns, and more:

  • Managing side effects
  • Pain management
  • Navigating the health care system
  • Your emotional, social and spiritual health
  • Staying healthy and active
  • Healthy cooking and eating
  • Healing arts
  • Caregiver skills
  • Dealing with family, school or work stress
Learn more about these resources at our Living with Cancer or Supportive Care Medicine sites.
Additional Bile Duct Cancer Resources:
Support The Bile Duct Cancer Program
It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts more than 100 years ago. Their efforts − and those of our supporters today − have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables us to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies − helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.
For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact us below.
Or, you can make a gift to support all the research at City of Hope by donating online.


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