UW Medicine patient undergoes rare transplant for bile duct cancer

Physicians at UW Medicine in Seattle performed a rare liver transplant in June to cure a patient of bile duct cancer.

Jere Gianola, 59, was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in 2018. Eighty percent of patients are diagnosed after the cancer spreads from the bile ducts, and the median survival time is nine to 12 months.

However, UW Medicine physicians caught Mr. Gianola's bile duct cancer early, making him an ideal candidate for a liver transplant to remove the cancer.

After spending a year on the transplant list, Mr. Gianola underwent the five-hour surgery June 20. He left the hospital a week later cancer-free.

Less than 500 such transplants have been performed in the U.S., estimated Kiran Bambha, MD, a liver-transplant specialist at UW Medicine.

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