Therapeutic Outcome of Multidisciplinary Treatment in Unresectable Biliary Tract Cancer: A Multicenter Retrospective Analysis

Fumi Harada, Kentaro Miyake, Ryusei Matsuyama, Kazunori Furuta, Mitsuhiro Kida, Shinichi Ohkawa, Jun-ichi Tanaka, Takeshi Asakura, Kazuya Sugimori, Yoshiaki Kawaguchi, Tetsuya Mine, Kazumi Kubota, Hiroshi Shimada, Itaru Endo


Background: There is little established evidence regarding treatment strategies for unresectable biliary tract cancer (BTC). This study aimed to clarify the situation of multidisciplinary treatment for unresectable BTC in the 2000s when there was no international standard first-line therapy.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 315 consecutive patients with unresectable BTC who had been treated at seven tertiary institutions in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan between 1999 and 2008.

Results: The unresectable factors were as follows: locally advanced, 101 cases (32.1%); hematogenous metastases, 80 cases (25.4%); and peritoneal dissemination, 30 cases (9.5%). Chemotherapy or radiation therapy was administered to 218 patients (69.2%). The best supportive care was provided in 97 cases (30.8%). The most common regimen was gemcitabine monotherapy, followed by gemcitabine combination therapy and S-1 monotherapy. The 1- and 2-year survival rates of all patients were 34.6% and 12.2%, respectively. The median survival time (MST) was 8 months in all patients. The 1-year survival rate was 65%, and the MST was 12 months among the locally advanced patients, whereas patients with peritoneal dissemination had the worst outcome; the 1-year survival rate was 7%, and the MST was 5 months. Among treated 90 cases of perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, patients who received chemoradiotherapy (n = 24) had a significantly better outcome than those who received chemotherapy alone (MST: 20 vs. 11 months, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Unresectable BTC has heterogeneous treatment outcomes depending on the mode of tumor extension and location. Multidisciplinary treatment seems useful for patients with locally advanced BTC, whereas patients with metastatic disease still have a poor prognosis.

World J Oncol. 2024;15(3):405-413


Biliary tract cancer; Cholangiocarcinoma; Chemotherapy; Unresectable biliary tract caner

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