Research and clinical trials for gallbladder cancer

At City of Hope, we offer access to numerous clinical trials aimed at improving survival rates and enhancing quality of life. Many of these new therapies are not always available elsewhere.

Some of our current research projects include:

  • Trametinib (Mekinist®) is a targeted therapy drug that can stop tumor development by removing enzymes necessary for gallbladder cancer cells to grow, and City of Hope is part of a Phase II trial to see if this drug is more effective than combination therapy for patients with advanced or recurrent gallbladder cancer. This trial will also evaluate the side effects differences between these two regimens to see which less toxic and easier to tolerate.
  • In many cases, combining chemotherapy and radiation (chemoradiation) can be more effective than either therapy alone, but it can also lead to more severe side effects as well. In a Phase I clinical trial, City of Hope researchers are seeing if combining the cancer drug gemcitabine (Gemzar®) with radiation therapy is well tolerated in gallbladder cancer patients and if so, determine the optimal dose for cancer-fighting effectiveness.
  • Overexpression of the CEA protein in some gallbladder cancers can be exploited for imaging purposes, since they will take in more of the drug M5A (which targets CEA-positive cancers) than normal tissues. Using this knowledge, researchers are investigating whether linking M5A to imaging agent 64Cu results in better visualization of tumors in a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. 

Learn more about our current clinical trials.