ERCP is the gold standard endoscopic procedure for evaluation and treatment of bile duct and pancreas duct disorders. During ERCP the bile ducts are visualized using x-ray and contrast fluid.
Often bile duct cancers are incurable and are not able to be removed surgically when diagnosed. In these cases it is the job of the endoscopists to keep the bile ducts open as long as possible to improve patients’ quality of lives and allow them to get medical therapy from their cancer doctors. Generally the placement of bile duct stents has been the main role of ERCP in these patients to keep their bile ducts open. However now there is technology that allows specially trained endoscopists to treat and destroy tumor cells from inside the bile duct. This is called tumor ablation – it is the concept of applying various forms of energy and toxicity to destroy cancer cells such as RFA and PDT.
RFA and PDT are different forms of ablation technology that allow endoscopists to destroy tumor cells inside the bile duct. RFA involves delivering localized energy to specific locations in the bile duct to treat tumor cells. PDT using light activation toxicity to destroy tumor cells throughout the bile duct system. Early studies of these technologies have shown that they may potentially keep bile ducts open longer and possibly extend the lives of patients with cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with a bile duct or pancreas cancer and are deemed not a surgical candidate, then these technologies may be applicable for your disease.
Are you interested in learning more about ERCP-guided tumor ablation or other treatment options? We invite you to contact us to learn more. Dr. Prashant Kedia is a therapeutic endoscopist and gastroenterologist serving patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. Call today to schedule an appointment at (214) 941-6891.