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Chemotherapy is often used to treat extrahepatic bile duct cancer.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to treat cancer. It is usually a systemic therapy that circulates throughout the body and destroys cancer cells, including those that may have broken away from the primary tumour.
Chemotherapy has been shown to slow the growth of the cancer and improves the outcome of people with extrahepatic bile duct cancer.
Chemotherapy may be used:
Drugs, doses and schedules vary from person to person.
Chemotherapy drugs may be used alone or in combination. The most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat extrahepatic bile duct cancer are:
The most common chemotherapy combinations used to treat bile duct cancer are:
Chemotherapy drugs may also be combined with radiation therapy to make the cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation. These drugs are called radiosensitizers. The drugs used most often are 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine. Giving radiation therapy and chemotherapy together is called chemoradiation.
For more detailed information on specific drugs, go to sources of drug information.
A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.