Aim: To investigate the clinico-pathological profile and stage of disease at presentation of patients with carcinoma of the gallbladder diagnosed during 1992–2006 in Iran.
Methods: During this study period 34 consecutive patients with gallbladder carcinoma were identified using a pathology-based tumor database. The data extracted for each study patient included their gender, age at diagnosis, signs and symptoms, presence of gallstones and histopathological pattern of the gallbladder carcinoma and the UICC/AJCC TNM staging system was used for labeling the stages of the disease.
Results: The median age of the 34 patients studied was 69.50 with most between 61 and 70 years of age. The age range of the men was between 53 and 80 years with a median age of 71.50 years and that of the women was between 33 and 79 years with a median age of 68.50 years. The most common symptom was pain in the right hypochondrium. More women had gallstones (15/34) than men (3/10). Adenocarcinoma was the most common histopathological type (91.18%) with the commonest subtype being papillary (47.06%). Eighteen patients had stage IB and stage IIA (52.94%) carcinomas whereas stages IIB and III were observed in six (17.6%) and seven cases (20.6%), respectively. Only three cases (8.82%) were seen in stage IV. The follow up of gall bladder carcinoma (GBC) patients in this study ranged from 6 to 60 months. However, there was a progressive reduction of patients attending follow-up oncology clinic, particularly by those who had stages III and IV of the disease.
Conclusion: Most patients (52.94%) presented with early disease (stage IB and IIA) which carries a good prognosis. Early detection of GBC and a national consensus for the evidence-based management of GBC in Iran should be the major components of a strategy aimed at improving therapeutic outcome.