Can patients with gallbladder adenocarcinoma and liver metastases obtain survival benefit from surgery? A population-based study

Updates Surg. 2022 Aug;74(4):1353-1366. doi: 10.1007/s13304-022-01302-9. Epub 2022 Jun 4.


According to international guidelines, surgical treatment is not recommended for gallbladder adenocarcinoma with liver metastases (GCL), and research on the clinical implications of surgery in GCL is very scarce. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether surgery is an effective means to improve survival in GCL. Data were collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. A total of 612 people diagnosed with GCL were identified. According to their treatment, patients were categorised into 4 groups: synchronous resection of the primary tumour and liver metastases (SPL), synchronous primary site and other resection (SPO), single resection of the primary site (SPS), and no resection (NR). Our study findings showed that 34 (5.6%) patients received SPL, 18 (2.9%) had SPO, 185 (30.2%) underwent SPS, and 375 (61.3%) received NR. Our analysis showed that surgical treatment was an independent protective prognostic factor for gallbladder cancer cause-specific survival. Groups who underwent SPL, SPO, and SPS showed gradually decreasing survival benefit compared with the NR group (median survival: 9, 5, 4, and 2 months, respectively). Notably, mortality in the SPL, SPO, and SPS groups were significantly different compared with NR group, and the hazard ratio were gradually increased, which were 0.402 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.264-0.611), 0.463 (95% CI 0.274-0.784), and 0.597 (95% CI 0.457-0.779), respectively (all P < 0.05). Survival in patients with GCL was significantly improved via surgery of the primary site with simultaneous metastasectomy. Among them, SPL and SPO showed greater survival advantages in carefully selected patients with GCL. Registered at Trial registration number is researchregistry6915.

Keywords: Gallbladder cancer; Liver metastases; Surgery; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / surgery
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms*
  • Metastasectomy* / methods
  • Retrospective Studies