For the greater part of 2010 I was treated by the physician staff of Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University Medical Center of St. Louis, MO. I've changed to another hospital in St. Louis for further treatment at this time.
My main treating physicians at Barnes were:
Dr. David Linehan, whom I refer to as the "happy cutter", an hepato-biliary surgeon of excellent reputation and highly experienced at liver surgery. He twice reviewed me for possible liver resection but unfortunately both times he found that the IHCC tumor mass had infiltrated too far into the liver vasculature to permit a likely outcome of surgical success--if I understand him correctly. The reason I refer to him as the "happy cutter" is that he seemed to me to be almost enthusiastically happy when surgery seemed a likely possibility, but spoke to me very little and much less joyously once surgery was ruled out. He seems to truly enjoy his surgical work! Can't say enough good about him, except I wish he could have done the resection.
Dr. Benjamin Tan, whose specailities include medical oncology and hematology. He oversaw the chemotherapy administered to me this year, and the outcome was reported as quite successful, having shrunk the "huge" single tumor by about one-half in size from 10+ cm to about 5+ cm .over the course of treatment in spring, summer and fall of 2010. In all honesty, his course of treatment has led me to state that Barnes has the best scientific-based (AMA and FDA-approved science, I might add, for better and for worse) presently available for cholangiocarcinoma in the St. Louis area. My experience with Dr. Tan would lead me to agree with another reporting here that Dr. Tan seems somewhat conservative in his approach to treatment.
I have also consulted with another Barnes phycician of exceptionally high repute, who said to me "Unfortunately, we have not been very successful in our consertavive approach to treating Cholangioncarcinoma, except for surgical resection where possible. Therefore, you have little to lose by pursuing alternative treatment methods." This means that in the understanding of some of the best minds at Barnes, they are applying treatments which are unlikely to be completely successful, and yet by adhering to conservative methods, they are closing their minds to alternative methods which might work.
Dr. Tan has repeatedly told me that no patient suffering from cholangiocarcinoma and being treated by Barnes has survived more than four years after the date of the original CC diagnosis--unless the patient undergoes a successful surgical resection. All that being said, Dr. Tan is, as yet, the only physician with whom I have encountered a personality conflict severe enough to require me to seek treatment elsewhere. I am now being treated with chemotherapy by a medical oncologist at another local St. Louis area hospital.
Dr. Robert Myerson, Professor of Radiation Oncology. An excellent and persuasive communicator, with a great knowledge of radiology, cancer, and with the patience required to answer many of my questions about radioembolization and stereotactic body radiation therapy. He and his associates designed and administered the five SBRT treatments in a clinical trial during August and September 2010. Follow-up is to be scheduled.