The prognosis of patients with cholangiocarcinoma historically has been poor, even after surgical resection. Although data from some single-institution series indicate improvement over historical results, survival after surgical therapy for cholangiocarcinoma has not been investigated in a population-based study. We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to identify patients who underwent surgery for cholangiocarcinoma from 1973 through 2002. Multivariate modeling of survival after surgery for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma showed an improvement in survival only within the last decade studied, resulting in a cumulative 34.4% improvement in survival from 1992 through 2002. In contrast, multivariate modeling of survival after surgery for extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma revealed a 23.3% increase in adjusted survival per each decade studied, resulting in a cumulative 53.7% improvement from 1973 through 2002. We conclude that survival after surgery for extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma has dramatically improved since 1973. Patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, however, have achieved an improvement in survival largely confined to more recent years. We suggest that these trends are largely caused by developments in imaging technology, improvements in patient selection, and advances in surgical techniques.
- Biliary tract neoplasms
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