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Keywords:

  • bile duct carcinoma;
  • hilar cholangiocarcinoma;
  • radiotherapy;
  • intraarterial chemotherapy;
  • vasoconstrictor

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The treatment of patients with advanced hepatic hilar duct carcinoma is a challenging problem. The current study was performed to evaluate the outcome of patients with advanced hepatic hilar duct carcinoma who received external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) combined with transarterial chemotherapy and infusion of a vasoconstrictor.

METHODS

Between April 1993 and December 2002, 23 patients with histopathologically confirmed hilar duct carcinoma entered the study. The median total dose of EBRT was 41.4 grays (Gy). Transarterial chemotherapy was performed twice during EBRT. It was comprised of an infusion of a cocktail of 20 mg of epirubicin, 10 mg of mitomycin C, and 500 mg of 5-fluorouracil and was administered 1 minute after injection of epinephrine via a catheter introduced in the hepatic arteries. After the combined treatment, the patients underwent biliary endoprosthesis after evaluation of the initial response to treatment by percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC). The initial responses based on PTC were classified into four categories: CR, no stenosis; PR, relief of stenosis/obstruction; NC, no change; and PD, progressive stenosis/obstruction. The outcome parameters were survival rates and time, as well as frequency and type of complications.

RESULTS

Excluding 1 patient who discontinued the treatment, the initial responses of 22 patients were 1 CR (5%), 8 PR (36%), 11 NC (50%), and 2 PD (9%). The response rate was 41%. The overall survival rates at 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years after treatment were 59%, 36%, and 18%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The combination of radiotherapy, transarterial infusion chemotherapy, and concurrent infusion of a vasoconstrictor can be delivered safely with good efficacy for patients withadvanced hilar duct carcinoma. Cancer 2004. © 2004 American Cancer Society.