Adjuvant external-beam radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy after resection of primary gallbladder carcinoma: a 23-year experience

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Jul 15;62(4):1030-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2004.12.059.


Purpose: Primary adenocarcinoma of the gallbladder is a rare malignancy. To better define the role of adjuvant radiation therapy and chemotherapy, a retrospective analysis of the outcome of patients undergoing surgery and adjuvant therapy was undertaken.

Methods and materials: Twenty-two patients with primary and nonmetastatic gallbladder cancer were treated with radiation therapy after surgical resection. Median radiation dose was 45 Gy. Eighteen patients received concurrent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy. Median follow-up was 1.7 years in all patients and 3.9 years in survivors.

Results: The 5-year actuarial overall survival, disease-free survival, metastases-free survival, and local-regional control of all 22 patients were 37%, 33%, 36%, and 59%, respectively. Median survival for all patients was 1.9 years.

Conclusion: Our series suggests that an approach of radical resection followed by external-beam radiation therapy with radiosensitizing 5-FU in patients with locally advanced, nonmetastatic carcinoma of the gallbladder may improve survival. This regimen should be considered in patients with resectable gallbladder carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Fluorouracil