Author(s): Tugba Kos F, Aksoy S, Odabas H, Ozdemir N, Oksuzoglu B, Uncu D
Abstract PURPOSE: To study the efficacy of adjuvant therapy (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) in early stages (I-III) of gallbladder and bile duct cancers. METHODS: The clinical and pathological characteristics, treatment details and survival data of patients operated with early stages (I-III) of gallbladder and bile duct cancers and followed up in our clinic between August 2002 - November 2009 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: 52 patients (median age 64 years) with early stages of gallbladder (n=36) and bile duct (n=16) cancers were analysed. Twenty-three (44.2\%) patients had stage I, 23 (44.2\%) stage II, and 6 (11.5\%) stage III cancers. Approximately half of the patients (n=25; 48.1\%) received postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Patients with adjuvant treatment were younger than those without (62 vs. 71 years, p=0.06). Eighteen patients received chemotherapy alone, 2 chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy, 1 chemotherapy concurrently with radiotherapy, and 4 radiotherapy alone as adjuvant therapy. The regimen most frequently used (57.1\%) was CFF (cisplatin 50 mg/m(2), day 1; folinic acid 200 mg/m(2), day 1; 5-fluorouracil [5-FU] 400 mg/m(2) bolus day 1 and 1600 mg/m(2) 48h continuous infusion). Some poor prognostic factors like high tumor grade and vascular invasion were more frequent in patients who received adjuvant therapy. The median disease free survival (DFS) was 11.4 months for the patients that received adjuvant therapy vs. 8.2 months for those without adjuvant therapy (p=0.67). During follow up 11 patients (44.0\%) with adjuvant therapy and 12 (44.4\%) without have died (p=0.97). The estimated median survival was 29 months. CONCLUSION: Although previous studies had shown that 5-FU-based adjuvant chemotherapy may provide a small survival advantage, this was not confirmed in the present study. Prospective adjuvant trials with a standard chemotherapy regimen and larger numbers of patients are required.