Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), also known as bile duct cancer, is a primary liver cancer affecting the bile ducts within, or outside, the liver. Described as a complex and fatal disease with an increasing global incidence, CCA has a high mortality rate due to its aggressive nature.1,2
The symptoms of CCA are non-specific, so diagnosis is difficult and often occurs during the later stages of disease, by which time curative treatment measures are not an option. The average 5-year survival rate is just 5-10%, with the majority of patients surviving less than 12 months following diagnosis.3
Globally, the incidence of CCA is dependent on exposure to different risk factors and whilst some, such as liver fluke infection and chronic damage to the liver/bile ducts, are well established, many cases appear sporadic - without a known cause. Some cases are preventable through increased education, screening and awareness, but further work is required to understand all risk factors and develop new treatment approaches. CCA prevention and treatment therefore requires a united approach across multidisciplinary teams, collaborative international research and increased educational awareness.2
This is why we, the Global Cholangiocarcinoma Alliance (GCA), have united to create the first global voice in CCA. We are an alliance of physicians, patients, healthcare professionals, researchers and patient advocacy groups who have a shared vision to increase prevention and quality of life of all CCA patients with a focus on improving CCA survival rates.
We will work globally to raise awareness of CCA and its known risk factors through community activities such as World Cholangiocarcinoma Day, and work towards reducing preventable cases. Where there is no known cause, we will work to establish the profile of CCA, ensuring patients are diagnosed as early as possible, create improved referral networks and share advances in research. We will help to ensure clinicians are knowledgeable and patients feel empowered to seek the most advanced diagnostic approaches and have access to the latest treatment options available.
You can make a difference today by signing our pledge of support to establish a global voice, so that our vision can one day become a reality.
I pledge to support the Global Cholangiocarcinoma Alliance, by:
- Supporting World Cholangiocarcinoma Day annually
- Increasing awareness of CCA by sharing GCA resources
- Sharing advances in CCA management through the GCA global network
- Supporting screening and prevention programmes where there is a known cause of CCA
- Striving for ways to achieve earlier diagnosis and deliver targeted treatment options
- Being part of the growing global GCA community
- Improving the lives of CCA patients, worldwide, through my support of the GCA
- Sharing the GCA pledge to encourage others to sign