Your Winship care team draws on Emory’s vast resources in surgical oncology, radiation therapy and medical oncology, to provide the newest, most effective practices and treatments for gallbladder cancer.
The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:
- Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top experts in the world.
- Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
- Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
- Access to support groups and education classes for you and your caregivers.
- Availability of new treatment options within our clinical trials program.
Correctly diagnosing and staging the extent of your disease is essential to your treatment. The stage of your disease indicates how much it has spread in the liver, and whether it has spread to other organs and lymph nodes. Early stage cancer is disease limited to the gallbladder. Late stage cancer indicates spread to other organs like liver, lung or bone. Determining the stage of your cancer will affect your treatment plan.
Your Winship care team may use one or more tests and procedures to determine the stage of your cancer, including blood tests and imaging tests.
Your care team will discuss treatment options with you and it is important to take time and consider all possible choices. It is also important to know that your chances for having the best possible outcome are highest in the hands of a medical team that is experienced in treating gallbladder cancer.
One or more of the following types of treatment will be used.
Surgery: Surgery is the main treatment method for gallbladder cancer. The entire gallbladder will be removed in patients with early stage disease. This procedure is called a cholecystectomy. For those with advanced gallbladder cancer, surgery will be performed to remove the gallbladder and a portion of the live and bile ducts. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used after surgery.
Chemotherapy: drugs are used to kill or slow the growth of the tumor. Chemotherapy is sometimes used in addition to surgery and radiation. In addition to standard therapies, participating in clinical trials maybe an option in certain cases. Clinical trials provide patients access to new medications that are being developed to treat bile duct cancer.
Radiation therapy: radiation may be used in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. It may also be used when surgery is not an option.
Targeted therapies: Winship’s most promising research in treating gallbladder cancer is in personalized medicine and targeted therapies. In personalized medicine, researchers identify unique characteristics of tumors that make them vulnerable to known drugs so therapy can be tailored to an individual’s cancer. In targeted therapies, investigators look for new drugs that more selectively target cancer cells with fewer side effects.
In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.
Your Treatment Team
- A chemotherapy infusion specialist and adult nurse practitioner, Ms. Brutcher's clinical specialties include gastrointestinal and aerodigestive cancers.
- Adult Nurse Practitioner, Department of Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-1900
- Ms. Hughes works with the genitourinary and gastrointestinal patients at Winship Cancer Institute and the breast, gynecological and sarcoma patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
- Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-5976
- Dr. Maithel is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist with special interest in sarcoma and malignancies of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, stomach, colon, and small intestine.
- Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-0210
- Dr. Sarmiento, an expert in liver, biliary tract and pancreas surgery, is one of only a handful of surgeons with a commitment to hepatopancreatic biliary surgery.
- Associate Professor, Division of General and GI Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. Vainshtein treats patients with head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, thoracic malignancies and sarcomas at both Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
- Instructor, Clinical Track, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Located at Winship Cancer Institute, Ms. Woodstock is a nurse practitioner serving the inpatient population with gastrointestinal cancers and outpatient population in medical oncology.
- Family Nurse Practitioner, Department of Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-1900