In the 10 years since the presentation of Gazzaniga's excellent monograph on extra-hepatic biliary tumours at the SIC Congress in 1997, interesting developments in the field have pressed upon us an undoubted need to reassess the complex topic of hepatobiliary surgery. It is therefore with great pleasure that, at the proposal of the Steering Committee of the Italian Society of Surgery (SIC), we present to Italian surgeons this monograph on the treatment of hilar and intrahepatic cholangiocarci-noma, prepared by Alfredo Guglielmi, professor and chairman of Surgical Department A at the University School of Medicine of Verona, and his colleagues.

The volume is divided into two parts. The first relates to hilar cholangiocarci-nomas, about which there are a number of complex and still controversial issues; the second relates to intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, which are frequently treated like other primary tumours of the liver. The monograph includes preliminary information about molecular biology, and diagnostic and treatment methods are extensively examined in relation to type of neoplastic spread. In our opinion the most interesting part of the book concerns the treatment of these tumours with both interventional radiology and surgery, which can range from simple hepatectomies to liver transplantation. We would like to point out that Professor Guglielmi carried out the first liver transplantation in the University of Verona surgical department.

The monograph is aimed at those in clinical practice, and is written by a colleague for whom the most important objective of his work is to perform the best surgery in the light of the most recent developments and to achieve results in the interests of his patients. Just as usually happens in clinical practice, pathologists and radiologists have participated in the making of this book. This type of "disease management team" improves the quality and results of surgery.

Over the last 20 years, Alfredo Guglielmi has followed with enthusiasm and intelligence the progress made in hepatobiliary surgery. He has connections with European, American and Japanese surgical institutes; he performed an in-depth study of the surgical treatment of cholangiocarcinoma at the University of Nagoya under the guidance of Yuji Nimura, a pioneer in this field. The mutuality of this professional relationship and sincere friendship is attested to by several visits of Yuji Nimura to the surgical department of the University School of Medicine of Verona.

It is for all these reasons that we are proud to present to Italian surgeons this monograph, which conveys the most recent orientations of the SIC. For the first time it is being published in English by a publishing house with an international presence. We think that this is the best way to share our experiences with colleagues from other countries. We also feel that this volume will be an excellent instrument for the achievement of the aims of the SIC Steering Committee. We hope it will achieve wide circulation and great success.

Verona, October 2007 Rome, October 2007

Claudio Cordiano Past President, Italian Society of Surgery

Roberto Tersigni President, Italian Society of Surgery

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