Downstaging Locally Advanced Cholangiocarcinoma Pre-Liver Transplantation: A Prospective Pilot Study

Melissa Wong, Joohyun Kim, Ben George, Calvin Eriksen, Terra Pearson, Jared Robbins, Michael A. Zimmerman, Johnny C. Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) after neoadjuvant therapy (NT) in well-selected patients with unresectable hilar cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) achieves excellent recurrence-free survival. Current criteria for NT-OLT exclude patients with locally advanced hilar and intrahepatic CCA from potential cure. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of NT in downstaging locally advanced CCA, and examine outcomes after OLT. Methods: Among 24 patients referred for unresectable hilar and intrahepatic CCA from January 2013 through August 2017, 18 met center-specific inclusion criteria for the NT-OLT treatment protocol: hilar tumor size ≤3.5 cm or intrahepatic ≤8 cm, and regional lymphadenopathy but without distant metastasis. Median follow-up was 22.1 mo from diagnosis. Results: Of 18 patients who initiated NT, 11 were removed from the protocol due to tumor progression (n = 6) or uncontrolled infection and failure-to-thrive (n = 5). Median NT duration tended to be shorter for patients progressing to dropout than for those surviving to OLT (5.5 versus 13.5 mo, P = 0.109). Among five patients who received OLT, 1-y post-OLT patient survival was 80%: three survive recurrence-free (14.5-29.2 mo post-OLT); one developed an isolated tumor recurrence in a single portacaval lymph node at 12 mo post-OLT; and one experienced non-tumor-related death. All dropout patients died at a median of 14.4 mo after diagnosis. Conclusions: This is the first prospective study to show successful NT downstaging of unresectable locally advanced hilar and intrahepatic CCA before OLT. NT-OLT for select patients with locally advanced hilar and intrahepatic CCA achieved acceptable short-term recurrence-free survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume242
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery

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