Biliary Tract Cancer

Unlocking potential treatments for biliary tract cancers by studying the DNA of advanced patients

This study aims to use genetic sequencing to explore this rare, deadly and underfunded disease so the data can be mined and used to develop more effective and personalized treatments.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Toronto, Canada
Dr. Steve Gallinger
Lead Researcher
Dr. Grainne O’Kane
Lead Researcher


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The Impact of Biliary Tract Cancer

Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) refer to a group of cancers that include gallbladder cancer (GBC) and bile duct cancer. BTCs are rare but on the rise, and those who are diagnosed face limited options and a very high mortality rate. There hasn’t been a lot of progress in the treatment of BTCs because the biology of these tumors is still poorly understood.


The number of people in the U.S. that develop bile duct cancer per year.

< 1 year

The survival rate for those with advanced disease.

Age 50

More people are getting diagnosed with over 25% diagnosed younger than 50.

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Using DNA Sequencing to Find Effective Treatments

The purpose of this study is to better understand the biology of biliary tract cancers, so we can know why they develop and what treatments are best.

We plan to recruit 60-90 patients over 3 years. We will collect blood and tumor samples from these patients to study BTCs on a molecular level and then use this information to build a database that we can share with researchers around the world.

More research

Treating The Highest Number of BTC Patients in Canada

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University Health Network are the largest medical group in Canada. We treat the highest volume of BTCs in the country. Our large group of surgeons, liver doctors, oncologists and researchers has allowed to us to develop an expert team in this field.

About the team

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