Malignant biliary obstruction (MBO), result of pancreatobiliary diseases is a challenging condition. Most patients with MBO are inoperable at the time of diagnosis, and the disease is poorly controlled using external-beam radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Biliary stent therapy emerged as a promising strategy for alleviating MBO and prolonging life. However, physicians find it difficult to determine the optimal type of biliary stent for the palliation of MBO. Here, we review the safety and efficacy of available biliary stents, used alone or in combination with brachytherapy, photodynamic therapy and advanced chemotherapeutics, in patients with pancreatobiliary malignancies and put forward countermeasures involving stent obstruction. Furthermore, 3D-printing stents and nanoparticle-loaded stents have broad application prospects for fabricating tailor-made biliary stents.
Keywords: 3D printing; Drug-eluting stent; Inoperable biliary tract carcinoma; Malignant biliary obstruction; PDT.