Surgical Management of Gallbladder Cancer: Simple Versus Extended Cholecystectomy and the Role of Adjuvant Therapy

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess if simple cholecystectomy with adjuvant therapy could provide outcomes comparable to extended cholecystectomy.

Background:

Current guidelines recommend extended/radical cholecystectomy for T2/T3 gallbladder cancer; however, many tumors are discovered incidentally at laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Methods:

The national Cancer Data Base 2004 to 2014 was queried for patients with pT2/T3 gallbladder adenocarcinoma who underwent resection. Adjuvant therapy was defined as chemotherapy, with or without radiotherapy, within 90 days of surgery. Baseline characteristics and overall survival were compared by χ2 and Kaplan-Meier method, respectively. One-to-one propensity score matching for receipt of adjuvant therapy was used to account for potential selection bias.

Results:

A total of 6825 patients were identified. Diagnosis was made predominantly (78.9%) at the time of surgery or on pathology; 31.8% (2168) received adjuvant therapy. The majority, 88.8% (6060), had a simple cholecystectomy. Patients who received adjuvant therapy versus surgery alone were more likely to: be younger, privately insured, have no comorbidities, pT3 disease, positive lymph nodes, positive resection margins, and extended cholecystectomy. After matching, median survival was significantly longer for extended cholecystectomy with adjuvant therapy (23.3 months) than cholecystectomy with adjuvant therapy (16.4 months), which was significantly longer than either simple (12.4 months) or extended (10.7 months) cholecystectomy alone (all log-rank P<0.001).

Conclusions:

Adjuvant therapy prolongs survival after resection of T2/T3 tumors. Simple cholecystectomy with adjuvant therapy appears to be superior to extended resection alone in the short term and may serve as a potential alternative to re-resection in select high-risk individuals.

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