The aim of this was to determine survival after starting neoadjuvant therapy for patients who became ineligible for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).Methods and Materials:
Since January 1993, 215 patients with unresectable cholangiocarcinoma began treatment with planned OLT. Treatment included external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with fluorouracil, bile duct brachytherapy, and postradiotherapy fluorouracil or capecitabine before OLT. Adverse findings at the staging operation, death, and other factors precluded OLT in 63 patients (29%), of whom 61 completed neoadjuvant chemoradiation.Results:
By October 2012, 56 (89%) of the 63 patients unable to undergo OLT had died. Twenty-two patients (35%) became ineligible for OLT before the staging operation, 38 (60%) at the staging operation, and 3 (5%) after staging. From the date of diagnosis, median overall survival was 12.3 months. Survival was 17% at 18 months and 7% at 24 months. Median survival after fallout was 6.8 months. Median survival after the staging operation was 6 months. Two patients lived for 3.7 and 8.7 years before dying of cancer or liver failure caused by persistent biliary stricture at the site of the original cancer, respectively. Univariate analysis showed that time from diagnosis to fallout correlated with overall survival (P=0.04).Conclusions:
In highly selected patients initially suitable for OLT, the mortality rate for cholangiocarcinoma was high in patients who became ineligible for OLT. Their survival, however, was comparable to expected survival for patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease treated with nontransplant therapies. The most common reason for patient fallout was adverse findings at the staging operation.