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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Biliary Tract Cancers: Bile Duct, Gallbladder, and ampulla of Vater

To better understand the etiology of rare cancers that form in the biliary tract (bile duct, gallbladder, ampulla of Vater), DCEG researchers are conducting studies to examine the molecular and epidemiologic characteristics of cancer at different sites in the biliary tract and identify potential molecular subtypes. Tumor and other biologic samples are compiled from various efforts in China and Chile, where incidence of these cancers is higher than in the United States.

As more samples and accompanying exposure information are collected, investigators are able to study increasingly rare subtypes with cutting-edge techniques to determine the epidemiologic and molecular contributors to the development of biliary tract cancers. A better understanding of the molecular differences across these malignancies can lead to more precise diagnosis and effective treatment, as well as provide clues as to etiology.

Studies include:

Chile Biliary Longitudinal Study (Chile BiLS)

The Chile Biliary Longitudinal Study (Chile BiLS) is a cohort of women diagnosed with gallstones in an area of Chile with high risk for gallbladder cancer. The purpose of this study is to explore the etiology and natural history of gallbladder dysplasia and biliary cancer, identify potential non-invasive risk stratification methods, such as inflammatory markers, and develop strategies for prevention.

Biliary Tract Cancer Pooling Project (BiTCaPP)

The Biliary Tract Cancer Pooling Project (BiTCaPP) is an international study involving 28 cohorts with over 4,500 biliary tract cancer cases from over 2.8 million participants. This resource allows for the prospective evaluation of risk factors. BiTCaPP is the first effort of its kind for the joint evaluation of cancers throughout the biliary tract and offers great promise for a more definitive understanding of the etiology of cancer across the entire biliary tract.

Cholecystectomy Risk Stratification (CRS) Study

The Cholecystectomy Risk Stratification (CRS) Study is a cross-sectional study of 1645 cholecystectomy patients with pre-surgery blood recruited from hospital wards in Chile. This study allows the evaluation of circulating blood markers to assess their potential for risk stratification. Current work is focused on circulating inflammatory markers.

Shanghai Biliary Tract Cancer Study

The Shanghai Biliary Tract Cancer Study is a case-control study conducted in China, including 627 BTC cases, 1,037 patients with biliary stones, and 959 population-based controls. This study allows cross-sectional evaluation of biologic markers and epidemiologic risk factors for gallbladder, extrahepatic bile duct, and ampulla of Vater cancer.

For more information, contact Jill Koshiol.

Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch - Research Areas