Purpose: To evaluate the effect of postoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy using three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy and to identify the prognostic factors that influence survival in patients with extrahepatic bile duct cancer.
Methods and materials: We retrospectively analyzed the data from 101 patients with extrahepatic bile duct cancer who had undergone postoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy using three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy. Of the 101 patients, 52 (51%) had undergone complete resection (R0 resection) and 49 (49%) had microscopic or macroscopic residual tumors (R1 or R2 resection). The median radiation dose was 50 Gy. Also, 85 patients (84%) underwent concurrent chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil.
Results: The median follow-up period was 47 months for the surviving patients. The 5-year overall survival rate was 34% for all patients. A comparison between patients with R0 and R1 resection indicated no significant difference in the 5-year overall survival (44% vs. 33%, p=.2779), progression-free survival (35% vs. 22%, p=.3107), or locoregional progression-free survival (75% vs. 63%, p=.2784) rates. An analysis of the first failure site in the 89 patients with R0 or R1 resection indicated isolated locoregional recurrence in 7 patients. Elevated postoperative carbohydrate antigen 19-9 level was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (p=.001) and progression-free survival (p=.033). A total of 3 patients developed Grade 3 or greater late toxicity.
Conclusion: Adjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy using three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy appears to improve locoregional control and survival in extrahepatic bile duct cancer patients with R1 resection. The postoperative carbohydrate antigen 19-9 level might be a useful prognostic marker to select patients for more intensified adjuvant therapy.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.