Prognostic Factors and Patterns of Locoregional Failure After Surgical Resection in Patients With Cholangiocarcinoma Without Adjuvant Radiation Therapy: Optimal Field Design for Adjuvant Radiation Therapy

Zahra Ghiassi-Nejad, Paola Tarchi, Erin Moshier, Meng Ru, Parissa Tabrizian, Myron Schwartz, Michael Buckstein

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19 Scopus citations


Purpose To identify prognostic factors and patterns of local failure in patients with cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), after surgical resection in the absence of adjuvant radiation, for optimal definition of target volumes encompassing the majority of local recurrences. Methods and Materials A chart review was performed in patients who underwent resection for primary CCA (intrahepatic, hilar, and distal) between 1999 and 2014. Local failure was defined as recurrence in a theoretical reasonable postoperative radiation volume. This includes the cut surface of liver, biliary anastomosis, hilum, portal nodes, celiac nodes, peri-pancreatic nodes, gastro-hepatic nodes, and retroperitoneal nodes. Patients who received adjuvant radiation were excluded. Results A total of 189 patients underwent surgical resection for CCA, of whom 145 patients had sufficient follow-up. Median follow-up was 41.6 months (95% confidence interval 35.4-48.7 months). Of the 145 cases, 102 were intrahepatic and 43 were hilar/distal CCA. Adjuvant chemotherapy was given in 38 cases (26%), of which 20 (54%) were gemcitabine-based. Eighty-six patients (59%) had a documented recurrence, of whom 44 (51%) had a locoregional component. Among patients who had a recurrence, 23 (27%) had a recurrence at the biliary anastomosis and/or cut liver surface. Twenty-eight patients (32.6%) had a recurrence in the regional lymph nodes, most prevalent in the portal (16.3%) and retroperitoneal (17.4%) lymph nodes. Univariable analysis identified tumor size, any vascular invasion, presence of satellites, stage/nodal status, and receipt of chemotherapy as significant prognostic factors of overall recurrence among intrahepatic patients. Presence of satellites, and stage 3/Nx status remained statistically significant in multivariable modeling. Conclusions The areas at highest risk for locoregional recurrence after surgical resection for primary CCA are the biliary anastomosis/cut liver surface, portal lymph nodes, and retroperitoneal lymph nodes. Although these results need to be validated, adjuvant radiation should possibly cover these areas to maximize locoregional control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-811
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2017

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