Thirteen patients with unresectable cholangiocarcinomas were treated with external beam radiation therapy (ERT) and intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) in combination with biliary stenting. Local treatment failure occurred in 50% of the patients treated with curative intent and an additional two patients developed distant recurrent disease. Patient morbidity was primarily related to biliary sepsis and gastrointestinal complications. There was minimal morbidity related to the IORT. Although the median survival of 16.5 months seemed to be an improvement over our previous results for ERT alone or ERT with 5-fluorouracil, the survival data are still discouraging. Further improvements in treatment will require better means of biliary bypass and increased tumour response perhaps by the use of radiosensitizers or hyperthermia in conjunction with radiation therapy.