Surgical Treatment of 724 Carcinomas of the Gallbladder Results of the French Surgical Association Survey

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the benefit of an aggressive approach to gallbladder carcinoma on long-term survival.

Summary Background Data

Recent studies have shown that an aggressive surgical treatment of bile duct carcinoma can be associated with a surprising long-term survival. However, recent data on gallbladder carcinoma are not available.


Data were obtained from a questionnaire sent to 73 institutions in France, Europe, and overseas, and they were analyzed retrospectively. The review included an analysis of patient sex and age, associated hepatobiliary diseases, symptoms and signs, diagnostic tests, operative management, pathology reports, and survival.


Results Seventy-eight per cent of the patients were woman, and 22% were men (p < 0.001). Gallstones were present in 86% of the cases. Four per cent of the patients had Tis stage lesions, 11 % had T1 to T2 stage lesions, and 85% had T3 to T4 stage lesions (p < 0.001). Pain was the most frequent symptom (77%). Twenty-three per cent of the patients underwent curative operations, and 77% had a palliative treatment (25% of the patients underwent exploratory laparotomy). Exploratory laparotomy was followed by the highest mortality rate (66%), and older patients (> 70 years) had a higher operative risk (p < 0.04). The overall median survival was 3 months, and long-term survival correlated with the cancer stage (Tis, > 60 months; T1 to T2, > 22 months, and T3 to T4, 2 to 8 months). No differences were observed among the different surgical procedures adopted.


No progress has been made in the last 10 years in the treatment of gallbladder malignancies.

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