Site-specific metastases of gallbladder adenocarcinoma and their prognostic value for survival: a SEER-based study

BMC Surg. 2021 Jan 23;21(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s12893-021-01068-8.


Background: Gallbladder cancer is a rare but highly malignant cancer, which often progresses to a metastatic stage when diagnosed because of its asymptomatic manifestation. In this study, we intended to analyze the prognostic value of metastatic gallbladder adenocarcinoma (GBA) with site-specific metastases.

Methods: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, GBA patients diagnosed with metastases between 2010 and 2016 were selected to identify the prognosis according to the isolated metastatic sites, including liver, lung, bone, brain and distant lymph nodes (DL). Kaplan-Meier methods were used for survival comparisons and multivariable Cox regression models were constructed to find out independent factors that associated with survival.

Results: Data from 1526 eligible patients were extracted from the SEER database. Among the patients, 788 (51.6%) had isolated liver metastases, 80 (5.2%) had isolated distant nodal involvement, 45 (2.9%) had isolated lung metastases, 21 (1.4%) had isolated bone metastases, 2 (0.1%) had isolated brain metastases and 590 (38.7%) had multiple metastases. No significant survival difference was shown between patients with single or multisite metastases (P > 0.05). Patients with isolated lung or DL metastases had significant better survival outcomes than those with isolated bone metastases (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that performing surgery at primary site, receiving chemotherapy were associated with better OS and CSS for patients with isolated liver or DL metastases.

Conclusions: The study showed that different metastatic sites affect survival outcomes in metastatic GBA patients. Highly selected subset of patients with liver or DL metastases might benefit from surgery at primary site.

Keywords: Gallbladder adenocarcinoma; Gallbladder cancer; Metastases; Prognosis; SEER; Surgical treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma* / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma* / secondary
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • SEER Program / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology