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Gallbladder cancer

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Treatment of stage II gallbladder cancer

The following are treatment options for stage II gallbladder cancer. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer.

Treatment for stage II gallbladder cancer depends on whether the cancer can be completely removed by surgery (is resectable) and the person is healthy enough to have surgery.


Surgery is the primary treatment for stage II gallbladder cancer. An extended (radical) cholecystectomy is most likely to be offered to people with resectable stage II gallbladder cancer.

There is limited data to support giving external beam radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy, after surgery for stage II gallbladder cancer. A few studies have reported improved survival after giving adjuvant therapyadjuvant therapyTreatment given in addition to the first-line therapy (the first or standard treatment) to help reduce the risk of a disease (such as cancer) coming back (recurring).. The use of adjuvant therapy after surgery is controversial. It may be offered as part of a clinical trial.

Radiation therapy

If people cannot have surgery, they may be offered external beam radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy.


Chemotherapy drugs (radiosensitizers) may be combined with radiation therapy to make the cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation.

Clinical trials

People with gallbladder cancer may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.


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