News | July 08, 2009

Palliative RT Prolongs Survival in Patients with EHC

July 8, 2009 - RT prolongs survival in patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (EHC) are rare tumors of the biliary tree, according to a study published in International Journal of Radiation Oncology - Biology - Physics.*

The researchers set out to examine the role of adjuvant and palliative RT in the treatment of EHC in a large patient population, by doing a retrospective analysis of 4,758 patients with EHC collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database. The primary endpoint was overall survival.

Twenty-eight percent of the patients underwent surgery, 10 percent radiation therapy (RT), 14.7 percent underwent both surgery and RT, and 46.4 percent had neither RT or surgery. The median age of the patient population was 73 years (range, 23–104), 52.5 percent were men, and 80.7 percent were white. The median overall survival time was 16 months, 9 months, and 4 months for surgery and RT, surgery, RT, and no RT or surgery, respectively. The overall survival was significantly different between the surgery and surgery and RT groups (p

These results suggest that palliative RT prolongs survival in patients with EHC. The benefit associated with surgery and RT was significant on univariate analysis but not after controlling for potential confounders using the propensity score. Future studies should evaluate the addition of chemotherapy and biologic agents for the treatment of EHC.

*Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Jun 16;74(4):1-5, ET Shinohara, M Guo, JM Metz

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