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Open Access Research article

Impact of radiotherapy in the management of locally advanced extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

Laurence Moureau-Zabotto1*, Olivier Turrini2, Michel Resbeut13, Jean-Luc Raoul4, Marc Giovannini5, Flora Poizat6, Gilles Piana7, Jean-Robert Delpero2 and Francois Bertucci48

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Therapy, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, 232 Boulevard de Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France

2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, 232 Boulevard de Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France

3 French Red Cross Center, Rue André Blondel, 83100 Toulon, France

4 Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, 232 Boulevard de Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France

5 Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Department, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, 232 Boulevard de Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France

6 Histology Department, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, 232 Boulevard de Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France

7 Radiology Department, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, 232 Boulevard de Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France

8 University of Aix-Marseille, 58 bd Charles Livon, 13001 Marseille, France

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:568  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-568

Published: 3 December 2013

Abstract

Background

Optimal therapy for patients with unresectable locally advanced extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ULAC) remains controversial. We analysed the role of radiotherapy in the management of such tumors.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients treated in our institution with conformal-3D external-beam-radiotherapy (EBRT) with or without concurrent chemotherapy.

Results

Thirty patients were included: 24 with a primary tumor (group 1) and 6 with a local relapse (group 2). Toxicity was low. Among 25 patients assessable for EBRT response, we observed 9 complete responses, 4 partial responses, 10 stabilisations, and 2 progressions. The median follow-up was 12 months. Twenty out of 30 patients (66%) experienced a relapse, which was metastatic in 75% of cases in the whole series, 87% in group 1, 60% in group 2 (p = 0.25). Twenty-eight patients (93%) died of relapse or disease complications. Median overall survivals in the whole group and in group 1 or 2 were respectively 12, 11 and 21 months (p = 0.11). The 1-year and 3-year progression-free survivals were respectively 38% and 16% in the whole series; 31% and 11% in group 1, 67% and 33% in group 2 (p = 0.35).

Conclusion

EBRT seems efficient to treat ULAC, with acceptable toxicity. For primary disease, the high rate of metastatic relapse suggests to limit EBRT to non-progressive patients after induction chemotherapy.

Keywords:
Inoperable cholangiocarcinoma; Radiotherapy; Chemotherapy; Outcome