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Does Postoperative Adjuvant Therapy Improve Outcomes in Cholangiocarcinoma? Chinese Researchers Say Yes

By: Amanda E. Ruffino, BA
Posted: Friday, March 31, 2023

Weilin Wang, MD, PhD, of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China, and colleagues investigated the efficacy of postoperative adjuvant therapy for patients with cholangiocarcinoma and identified prognostic factors for overall and progression-free survival. Their study, published in Frontiers in Oncology, retrospectively enrolled 215 patients with cholangiocarcinoma who underwent surgery between 2016 and 2022, with 119 receiving adjuvant therapy and 96 not receiving it.

“Postoperative adjuvant therapy can improve the prognosis of patients with cholangiocarcinoma, even in the early stages and advanced stages,” stated the investigators. “All data suggest that adjuvant therapy should be incorporated into the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma in all cases, where appropriate.”

The median follow-up was 37.5 months. The researchers found that adjuvant therapy significantly improved overall survival and progression-free survival in patients with cholangiocarcinoma, regardless of whether the disease was in an early or advanced stage. More specifically, the median overall survival with adjuvant therapy was 45 months, compared with 18 months without adjuvant therapy (P < .001). As for progression-free survival, it was longer with than without adjuvant therapy (34 vs. 8 months; P < .001). The investigators did find, however, “significant” differences in terms of early versus advanced stages of disease in a stratified assessment by TMN stage. For those with early-stage disease, the P values for median overall and progression-free survival were .0128 and .0209, whereas for those with advanced-stage disease, the P values were both less than .001. Preoperative aspartate transaminase, carbohydrate antigen 19-9, carbohydrate antigen 125, microvascular invasion, lymph node metastasis, differentiation degree, and adjuvant therapy were identified as independent prognostic factors for overall survival and progression-free survival.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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