Gallbladder cancer

Gallbladder cancer is a malignant disorder of the epithelial tissue of the gall bladder. Cancer of the bile ducts, such as biliary tract and gallbladder cancers are overall quite rare, with five diseases per 100,000 people.

Gall bladder cancers often occur in patients with gallstones. Although in 75 percent of cases with gall bladder stones, there is so far no evidence of a causal link. Also, a so-called porcelain gallbladder has a higher risk to degenerate malignant. One distinguishes the tumours according to their cell types such as adenocarcinoma (glandular), signet ring cell carcinoma, sarcoma cells, etc.

The relatively late-occurring symptoms of cancer are a slowly increasing and painless jaundice (Ikterus), upper abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight loss. Gallbladder cancers metastasize early on in the liver.

An Endoscopic Retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is used for the diagnosis. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth and moved down the throat into the oesophagus, and then into the duodenum.  From there, a contrast agent is injected into the bile duct/the gallbladder. The X-ray can assess more accurately the bile ducts and gall bladder. Gall bladder cancer can be diagnosed with ultrasound, computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and any PTC (the percutaneous TRANS-hepatic cholangiography, a radiographic method procedure).

Recommended therapies for the treatment of gallbladder cancer:

Whole body Hyperthermia

For patients with gallbladder the healing effect of whole-body hyperthermia is that we can very quickly bring the body to high temperatures (up 40.5 °). This fast and high heating activates not only the immune system, but many degenerate cells of the Bile duct or gallbladder tissue are destroyed by the fast floods of heat. In addition to the damage or removal of the cancer cells, the whole-body hyperthermia stimulates the immune system enormously without impacting the rest of the body. It triggers an immune cascade that activates and multiplies the white blood cells.

Locoregional Hyperthermia

The regional effective hyperthermia is also advisable for Carcinomas in the gall bladder: during this treatment the affected region is quickly heated to high temperatures (40 up to 44 ° C). This heat activates the immune system. Many degenerated cells of gallbladder tumour will be harmed or destroyed. In our day clinic at the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover we offer the partial body hyperthermia depending on the diagnosis, in which only damaged or degenerated tissue is overheated, which guarantees very gentle treatment to our patients.

Photodynamic therapy

At the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover, we recommend photodynamic therapy (PDT) to patients with gallbladder cancer, in which targeted diseased cells are destroyed by light. In the process, a light-activatable substance (a so-called photosensitizer - eg. Chlorin E6) is injected. This triggers a chemical reaction in combination with light of a specific wavelength in the diseased cells, which leads to cell death. The surrounding healthy tissue is spared.

Infusions with high-dose Vitamin C

At the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover we treat patients with a gallbladder tumour successfully with high-doses of vitamin C. The so-called Ascorbic acid is the best known vitamin, – and the most important antioxidant, i.e. it intercepts free harmful radicals in the body and renders them harmless – and in this way prevents degeneration in the cells. Vitamin C is also essential for the immune system and various restructuring processes in the body. When vitamin C is given in a high- dose, the treatment of gallbladder carcinoma can be positively affected.

IPT - Low-dose chemotherapy

Patients with gallbladder cancer can be treated successfully in the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover with the IPT, which uses the blood sugar-lowering hormone to better transport drugs such as chemotherapeutic agents into tumor cells. Since the degenerated cells of the bile duct or gallbladder have a higher basal metabolic rate than normal body cells, they are anxious to absorb sugar more quickly after a period of hypoglycaemia. The mechanism takes place via so-called receptors. Since the tumor cells of gallbladder carcinoma have more receptors than normal body cells, chemotherapy can thus act more effectively on the malignant cells. As a result, the dosage of common chemotherapy protocols can be significantly reduced and thus the side effects are significantly lowered.