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Liver Transpl. 2001 Dec;7(12):1023-33.

Liver transplantation for cholangiocellular carcinoma: analysis of a single-center experience and review of the literature.

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Department of Gastroenterological and Hepatobiliary Surgery, Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Mibu, Tochigi, Japan.


Cholangiocellular carcinoma (CCC) is a biliary malignancy that frequently presents in advanced unresectable stages. The role of liver transplantation (LT) as a surgical modality is unclear. The goal of this study is to evaluate outcomes of patients with CCC undergoing LT. A retrospective analysis of all patients undergoing LT was undertaken. Only those patients with the pathological diagnosis of CCC were included on the study. Patients were divided into two groups based on primary tumor location: extrahepatic (EH)-CCC and intrahepatic (IH)-CCC. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate overall and recurrence-free survival. Log-rank analysis was used to determine the significance of prognostic variables. Twenty-five patients were identified: 9 patients with EH-CCC (5 patients, Klatskin-type; 2 patients, the middle third; and 2 patients, the distal third) and 16 patients with IH-CCC. Mean age was 47.1 +/- 10.6 years. There were 14 men and 11 women. Tumor stage was local (stages I and II; n = 9) or advanced (stages III and IV; n = 16). Overall and disease-free survival rates were 71% and 67% at 1 year and 35% and 32% at 3 years, respectively. Analysis of variables showed statistically significant improved outcomes (P < .05) for the absence of contiguous organ invasion at LT, small tumor size, and single tumor foci. This study indicates that early survival after LT for CCC is acceptable. Three-year disease-free survival is achieved in approximately 30% of patients. These outcomes can be improved by applying strict selection criteria based on prognostic variables identified in this study.

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