This study aimed to identify the effect of percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage (PTBD) combined with 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) in comparison with PTBD therapy only on the treatment of unresectable Klatskin tumors (KTs).Materials and Methods:
Thirty-seven patients with unresectable KTs were included in the study. Twenty-six patients received PTBD and 3D-CRT successively, whereas the other 11 patients received PTBD only. Changes in the clinical symptoms after the PTBD treatment, the radiotherapy effect, and the survival time were recorded and analyzed.Results:
The clinical symptoms of the 2 groups gradually decreased after the PTBD treatment. The radiotherapy effect showed an overall effective rate (complete response+partial response) of 17 (65.38%), and the serum carbohydrate antigen-19-9 levels before and after 3D-CRT were significantly different (P<0.001). The mean survival time of the PTBD group was 11.27 months; the 1- and 2-year cumulative survival rates were 36.4% and 9.1%, respectively. The mean survival time of the combined therapy group was 22.77 months; the 1-, 2-, and 3-year cumulative survival rates were 53.8%, 38.5%, and 11.5%, respectively. The log-rank test showed that the patients who received combined therapy had longer survival time than the patients who only received PTBD (P=0.001).Conclusions:
Patients with unresectable KTs who underwent PTBD could relieve biliary obstruction effectively. Although this study is not a randomized trial, 3D-CRT combined with PTBD seems to be a promising and an effective method as a palliative treatment for unresectable KTs.