Inoperable Biliary Tract and Primary Liver Tumors: Palliative Treatment Options

Sophia K. McKinley, Akhil Chawla, Cristina R. Ferrone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Primary liver tumors are most commonly hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Although surgical resection offers a chance for cure, these tumors generally present at a late, inoperable stage, necessitating an understanding of noncurative and palliative treatment options. These options include ablative therapies, including radiofrequency ablation; intra-arterial therapies, including transcatheter chemoembolization; biliary decompression; radiotherapy; systemic therapies, including traditional chemotherapeutic agents; and molecular therapies, such as sorafenib. Selection of nonoperative treatment depends on patient and tumor factors as well as institutional resources and expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-762
Number of pages18
JournalSurgical Oncology Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Ablative therapy
  • Chemoembolization
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Palliation
  • Targeted therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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