Impact of adjuvant therapy on outcomes after curative-intent resection for distal cholangiocarcinoma

Jing Jing Hou, Shishir K. Maithel, Sharon M. Weber, George Poultsides, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Ryan C. Fields, Jin He, Charles Scoggins, Kamron Idrees, Perry Shen, Xu Feng Zhang, Timothy M. Pawlik

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Background: The benefit of adjuvant therapy (AT) after curative resection of distal cholangiocarcinoma (DCC) remains unclear. The objective of the current study was to investigate the impact of AT on long-term survival of patients who underwent curative-intent resection for DCC. Methods: Patients who underwent curative-intent resection for DCC between 2000 and 2020 were identified from a multi-institutional database. The primary outcomes included overall (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS). Results: Among 245 patients, 150 (61.2%) patients received AT (chemotherapy alone: n = 43; chemo- and radiotherapy: n = 107) after surgical resection, whereas 95 (38.8%) patients underwent surgery only. Patients who received AT were younger, and more likely to have an advanced tumor with the presence of perineural invasion (PNI), lymph node metastasis (LNM), lymph-vascular invasion, and higher T categories (all p < 0.05). Overall, there was no difference in OS (median, surgery + AT 25.5 vs. surgery alone 24.5 months, p = 0.27) or RFS (median, surgery + AT 15.8 vs. surgery alone 18.9 months, p = 0.24) among patients who did versus did not receive AT. In contrast, AT was associated with improved long-term survival among patients with PNI (median OS, surgery + AT 25.9 vs. surgery alone 17.8 months, p = 0.03; median RFS, surgery + AT 15.9 vs. surgery alone 11.9 months, p = 0.04) and LNM (median, surgery + AT 20.0 vs. surgery alone 17.8 months, p = 0.03), but not among patients with no PNI or LNM (all p > 0.1). Conclusions: AT was commonly utilized among patients with DCC. Patients with more advanced disease, including the presence of PNI or LNM, benefited the most from AT with improved long-term outcomes among this subset of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-615
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2023


  • adjuvant therapy
  • distal cholangiocarcinoma
  • lymph node metastasis
  • perineural invasion
  • recurrence


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