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BMC Cancer  2010 

Determining the role of external beam radiotherapy in unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: a retrospective analysis of 84 patients

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-492

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Abstract:

We identified 84 patients with ICC from December 1998 through December 2008 for retrospective analysis. Thirty-five of 84 patients received EBRT therapy five times a week (median dose, 50 Gy; dose range, 30-60 Gy, in fractions of 1.8-2.0 Gy daily; EBRT group); the remaining 49 patients comprised the non-EBRT group. Tumor response, jaundice relief, and survival rates were compared by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Patient records were reviewed and compared using Cox proportional hazard analysis to determine factors that affect survival time in ICC.After EBRT, complete response (CR) and partial response (PR) of primary tumors were observed in 8.6% and 28.5% of patients, respectively, and CR and PR of lymph node metastases were observed in 20% and 40% of patients. In 19 patients with jaundice, complete and partial relief was observed in 36.8% and 31.6% of patients, respectively. Median survival times were 5.1 months for the non-EBRT group and 9.5 months for the EBRT group (P = 0.003). One-and two-year survival rates for EBRT versus non-EBRT group were 38.5% versus 16.4%, and 9.6% versus 4.9%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that clinical symptoms, larger tumor size, no EBRT, multiple nodules and synchronous lymph node metastases were associated with poorer prognosis.EBRT as palliative care appears to improve prognosis and relieve the symptom of jaundice in patients with unresectable ICC.Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is the second most common type of primary liver cancer. A recent study from the United States reported a 9% annual increase and an overall tenfold increase in ICC-related mortality since 1973 [1].Lack of symptoms until late in the disease typically results in advanced ICC at the time of diagnosis, and cure rates are low for patients with advanced stage disease, even with aggressive therapy. Overall resectability rates were 54.6% in a series from Japan [2] and 62% in a series from United States [3]; 1-and 3-year cumulative survival rates in the

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