AIM: To evaluate prognostic indicators for the outcome of patients with perihilar extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in an unselected cohort.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 98 patients with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma. Twenty-three patients (23.5%) underwent tumor resection. Patients with non-resectable tumors underwent either transpapillary or percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage. Additionally, 32 patients (32.7%) received photodynamic therapy (PDT) and 18 patients (18.4%) systemic chemotherapy. Predefined variables at the time of diagnosis and characteristics considering the mode of treatment were entered into a Cox’s proportional hazards model. Included in the analysis were age, tumor stage following the modified Bismuth-Corlette classification, bilirubin, prothrombin time (PT), C-reactive protein (CRP), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), history of weight loss, surgical resection, chemotherapy and PDT.
RESULTS: The Kaplan-Meier estimate of overall median survival was 10.5 (95%CI: 8.4-12.6) mo. In the univariate analysis, low Bismuth stage, low CRP and surgical resection correlated significantly with better survival. In the multivariate analysis, only CRP (P = 0.005) and surgical resection (P = 0.029) were found to be independently predictive of survival in the cohort. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis identified a CRP level of 11.75 mg/L as the value associated with the highest sensitivity and specificity predicting a survival > 5 mo. Applying Kaplan-Meier analysis, patients with a CRP < 12 mg/L at the time of diagnosis had a significantly longer median survival than patients with higher values (16.2 vs 7.6 mo; P = 0.009).
CONCLUSION: This retrospective analysis identified CRP level at the time of diagnosis as a novel indicator for the prognosis of patients with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma. It should be evaluated in future prospective trials on this entity.