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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2007 Jun;6(3):248-53.

The role of liver transplantation for hilar cholangiocarcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Hepatobiliary Surgery & Liver Transplantation, Asian Centre for Liver Disease and Transplantation, Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore. durgatosh@yahoo.co.in

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hilar cholangiocarcinoma is a devastating disease. Surgery is the only potentially curative modality. However, the results of surgical resection for hilar cholangiocarcinomas are disappointing. The introduction of liver transplantation for this condition has brought new hope for the management of this disease. The aim of this review is to discuss the role of liver transplantation in this disease.

DATA SOURCES:

A MEDLINE search was conducted for the articles on liver transplantation for hilar cholangiocarcinoma. Their results have been compiled and compared with the existing literature on resection for this disease.

RESULTS:

The earlier series on liver transplantation for hilar cholangiocarcinoma were not encouraging because of poor patient selection. The Mayo Clinic protocol of neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by liver transplantation has shown remarkable success (survival at 1-, 3-, and 5-year post-transplantation being 92%, 82%, and 82%, respectively). With better patient selection and integration of neoadjuvant chemoradiation, the long-term survival is superior to that of the patients who undergo resection, as shown by the published literature on resection. The limitations of organ availability can be overcome by the living donor liver transplantation programme. This review article discusses the rationale, pros and cons of liver transplantation vis-รก-vis resection for hilar cholangiocarcinoma.

CONCLUSIONS:

Liver transplantation, especially living donor liver transplantation, is a new and exciting alternative to resection for hilar cholangiocarcinoma. Integration of neoadjuvant chemoradiation has the potential to further improve the curative potential of liver transplantation. The strategy of combining neoadjuvant chemoradiation and liver transplantation brings new hope for the treatment of this difficult disease.

PMID:
17548246
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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