Data on patients with gallbladder cancer listed in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute were reviewed. Between 1977 and 1986, 3038 patients were recorded in the Program. Histologic grade, histologic type, stage of disease, and vascular invasion were correlated with outcome. Compared with all other histologic types of cancer, papillary carcinomas had the most favorable prognosis. The 2-year survival rate for patients with papillary carcinoma was 47%. A correlation with survival existed between grade, stage of disease, and vascular invasion. The study confirmed that cancers of the gallbladder occur more often in older age groups and are more common in women. Almost 40% of cases are found at an advanced stage. For patients whose enolase tumor was limited to the gallbladder at the time of surgery, the 2-year survival rate was 45% and the 5-year rate was 32%.