Gallbladder Cancer

When you come to Winship Cancer Institute for gallbladder cancer treatment, you have a multidisciplinary team of experts dedicated to your well-being.

As a patient with gallbladder cancer, your best long-term outcome will be achieved with a comprehensive, coordinated approach that incorporates all available therapies.

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.

Patients with gallbladder cancer may not have any signs or symptoms before they are diagnosed.

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.

For reliable, in-depth information about cancer symptoms, staging and diagnosis, visit CancerQuest, an educational and outreach program at Emory University. 

Visit CancerQuest

Your individualized treatment plan will take into account the stage of your disease, your overall health, the side effects of the treatment, and relieving gallbladder cancer symptoms.

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. Learn more about radiation therapy treatments and services.

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 counselorsnurse navigatorsdietitians and social service professionals.

 Consider talking with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial at Winship. Through these trials, you may have access to treatments that are not widely available.

Learn More About Clinical Trials

If you have been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer, we are ready to help you. Call us at 1 (888) 946-7447 or (404) 778-1900 to make an appointment or request an appointment online. Winship experts are available to provide a second opinion.

We understand that this is a very stressful time. We welcome your questions and requests for help. Learn what to expect on your first visit.

Cascade Link

N. Volkan Adsay MD

  • Pathologist
Photo of 
                                 N. Volkan Adsay MD
N. Volkan Adsay MD

N. Volkan Adsay MD

  • Dr. Adsay is an internationally-recognized pathologist in the field of gastrointestinal and pancreatobiliary cancers.
  • Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 712-5867

Wendy Baer MD

  • Oncology Psychiatrist
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                                 Wendy Baer MD
Wendy Baer MD

Wendy Baer MD

  • Dr. Baer helps patients and their families deal with the stress of receiving a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
  • Medical Director of Psychiatric Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD
Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN

  • Nurse Navigator
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                                 Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN
Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN

Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN

Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP
Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP

Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP

  • 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

Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS
Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

  • Dr. Cardona is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist who specializes in the management of complex gastrointestinal malignancies (such as stomach, pancreas, and liver cancers) and is an expert in the treatment of sarcomas.
  • Co-Chair Gastrointestinal Oncology Working Group, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-3203

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Supportive Oncologist
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                                 Kimberly A. Curseen MD
Kimberly A. Curseen MD

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Dr. Curseen is the primary provider for the Supportive Oncology Clinic at Winship.
  • Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services , Emory Healthcare
  • (404) 778-6448

Bassel El-Rayes MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Bassel El-Rayes MD
Bassel El-Rayes MD

Bassel El-Rayes MD

  • Dr. El-Rayes is head of the clinical trials program at the Winship. He also serves as Director of the Winship Gastrointestinal Oncology Program.
  • Associate Director for Clinical Research, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

David A. Kooby MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 David A. Kooby MD, FACS
David A. Kooby MD, FACS

David A. Kooby MD, FACS

  • Dr. Kooby is involved in multicenter clinical research and is an international leader in minimally invasive pancreatic and liver surgery.
  • Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3805

Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Shishir K. Maithel  MD, FACS
Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

  • 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

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • At Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Ms. Perlmutter works with patients of all cancer types providing resource referrals and counseling services.
  • Social Worker, Outpatient Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7826

Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

  • Physician Assistant
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                                 Kimberly Pizarek PA-C
Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

  • Ms. Pizarek works with Dr. Maria Russell of the surgical oncology team to provide care for breast cancer, gastrointestinal, melanoma and sarcoma patients.
  • Physician Assistant , Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Carol Rivera ACBSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Carol Rivera ACBSW
Carol Rivera ACBSW

Carol Rivera ACBSW

Maria C. Russell MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Maria C. Russell MD
Maria C. Russell MD

Maria C. Russell MD

  • Dr. Russell's treats melanoma and metastatic melanoma, tumors of the liver, biliary tract, pancreas, spleen and gallbladder, metastatic tumors to the liver, tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, and neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-3203

Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS

  • Surgeon
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                                 Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS
Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS

Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS

  • 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

Vinita Singh MD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 Vinita Singh MD
Vinita Singh MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Dr. Singh collaborates with oncologists to provide state-of-the-art therapies to cancer patients suffering from pain symptoms.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2410

Stephen M. Szabo MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Stephen M. Szabo MD
Stephen M. Szabo MD

Stephen M. Szabo MD

  • Dr. Szabo practices general medical oncology and specializes in the treatment of breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and benign hematology at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
  • Director of Community Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (404) 778-1900

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Social Worker
Photo of 
                                 Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW
Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Ms. Tinsley 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

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD
Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • 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) 778-3473

Collin J. Weber MD

  • Surgeon
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                                 Collin J. Weber MD
Collin J. Weber MD

Collin J. Weber MD

Melissa Woodstock FNP-C, MSN

  • Nurse Practitioner
Photo of 
                                 Melissa Woodstock FNP-C, MSN
Melissa Woodstock FNP-C, MSN

Melissa Woodstock FNP-C, MSN

  • 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