Defining the Chance of Statistical Cure Among Patients with Extrahepatic Biliary Tract Cancer

Gaya Spolverato, Fabio Bagante, Cecilia G. Ethun, George Poultsides, Thuy Tran, Kamran Idrees, Chelsea A. Isom, Ryan C. Fields, Bradley Krasnick, Emily Winslow, Clifford Cho, Robert C.G. Martin, Charles R. Scoggins, Perry Shen, Harveshp D. Mogal, Carl Schmidt, Eliza Beal, Ioannis Hatzaras, Rivfka Shenoy, Shishir K. MaithelTimothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: While surgery offers the best curative-intent treatment, many patients with biliary tract malignancies have poor long-term outcomes. We sought to apply a non-mixture cure model to calculate the cure fraction and the time to cure after surgery of patients with peri-hilar cholangiocarcinoma (PHCC) or gallbladder cancer (GBC). Methods: Using the Extrahepatic Biliary Malignancy Consortium, 576 patients who underwent curative-intent surgery for gallbladder carcinoma or peri-hilar cholangiocarcinoma between 1998 and 2014 at 10 major hepatobiliary institutions were identified and included in the analysis. A non-mixture cure model was adopted to compare mortality after surgery to the mortality expected for the general population matched by sex and age. Results: The median and 5-year overall survival (OS) were 1.9 years (IQR, 0.9–4.9) and 23.9 % (95 % CI, 19.6–28.6). Among all patients with PHCC or GBC, the probability of being cured after surgery was 14.5 % (95 % CI, 8.7–23.2); the time to cure was 9.7 years and the median survival of uncured patients was 1.8 years. Determinants of cure probabilities included lymph node metastasis and CA 19.9 level (p ≤ 0.05). The cure fraction for patients with a CA 19.9 < 50 U/ml and no lymph nodes metastases were 39.0 % versus only 5.1 % among patients with a CA 19.9 ≥ 50 who also had lymph node metastasis. Conclusions: Examining an “all comer” cohort, <15 % of patients with PHCC or GBC could be considered cured after surgery. Factors such CA 19.9 level and lymph node metastasis independently predicted long-term outcome. Estimating the odds of statistical cure following surgery for biliary tract cancer can assist in decision-making as well as inform discussions around survivorship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalWorld journal of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


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