UI Hospitals and Clinics

Gallbladder Cancer Program

You are unique, and your cancer isn't like anyone else's. Your cancer care shouldn't be, either. At University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, we'll design a treatment program tailored for your needs and your cancer. That's how it should be.

At Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, our highly experienced physicians and staff are dedicated to taking care of you, not just your cancer. As part of a nationally recognized cancer center, our team focuses on every aspect of gallbladder cancer. Our clinicians are also top researchers, finding new and innovative treatments and therapies, as well as identifying genetic links that may pinpoint risk. We are on the leading edge of cancer research, always searching for ways to make the best cancer treatment even better.

Services That Set Us Apart

  • Experts focused primarily on gallbladder cancer. Because our gallbladder specialists concentrate primarily on these kinds of cancers, they understand the disease, know about the most recent treatment options from surgery to chemotherapy, and can help you determine what is best for you.
  • Innovative clinical trials. We not only offer access to the most recent treatment methods and therapies but our physicians are also researchers, placing them right in the heart of the latest breakthroughs in gallbladder cancers.
  • Multiple treatment options. Each gallbladder diagnosis is different, and each treatment option should be, too. Our doctors and staff work with you and create a treatment program that will best fit for you and your cancer.
  • New infusion suite designed with patients in mind. Our infusion suite was designed with patient input to create a comfortable, welcoming environment. Take our virtual tour.

Facts About Gallbladder Cancer

  • Women are at higher risk to develop gallbladder cancer than are men.
  • Symptoms of gallbladder cancer include jaundice - a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, fever, nausea and vomiting, bloating, and pain above the stomach.
  • Gallbladder cancer is difficult to detect - and therefore diagnose - early. There are no symptoms in the early stages.
  • Certain factors can influence the recovery of gallbladder cancer, including the stage at which it is diagnosed, the type of cancer, how much of the cancer can be removed, and whether it is the first occurrence of the cancer or if it has returned.

Cancer Care With You in Mind

  • Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa to hold the prestigious designation of being a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). What that means for you is that we are recognized among the leading cancer centers in the United States; NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers are rated in the top 4 percent of the approximately 1,500 cancer centers in the United States. A recent study published in the journal Cancer showed that patients treated at NCI designated cancer centers have better survival outcomes than patients treated at non-NCI designated cancer centers.
  • To be considered a "comprehensive" center means our teams have expertise in clinical, laboratory and population-based research. Our doctors and staff are on top of the newest developments in cancer research, treatment and diagnosis.
  • That means our team of experts will design a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs – we don’t believe in "one size fits all."
  • Our multidisciplinary team is ready to offer all of the services you need for your neuroendocrine care. We know no one wants to stay in the hospital longer than necessary, so we work especially hard to make sure your treatment options are done on an out-patient basis, allowing you to rest in the comfort of your own home.

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in the effort to control and ultimately cure cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

Care Team

Team-Based Approach

We bring experts from different fields of medicine to work together as a team called a multidisciplinary oncology group. Because many neuroendocrine patients require more than one form of treatment, our team meets regularly to discuss the best course of treatment and works together to design the best personalized plan for every patient. The team includes Surgical Oncologists, Endocrine Oncologists, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Social Workers, Pathologists, Pediatric Oncologists, Pharmacists, Nurses, and laboratory-based Scientists. Our team of specialists focuses not just on neuroendocrine cancer, but on your neuroendocrine cancer.

Nueroendocrine Cancer Clinic

Co-Director: Thomas O’Dorisio, M.D.
Co-Director: James Howe, M.D.

Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Oncology Multidisciplinary Team (GI-NET MOG)

Co-Leader: James Howe, MD (Surgeon)
Co-Leader: Daniel Berg, MD (Medical oncologist)


Hematology Oncology

Pediatric Oncology

Radiation Oncology


Nuclear Medicine






  • Charles Lynch, MD, PhD
  • Doug Spitz, MD