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Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2002 Oct;11(4):909-21.

Preliminary experience with liver transplantation in selected patients with unresectable hilar cholangiocarcinoma.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Medical School, Clinic, and Foundation, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Previous experience with OLT for hilar CCA has been discouraging, and survival was dismal. This study demonstrates that carefully selected patients with unresectable hilar CCA can achieve long-term survival after OLT. The survival rate obtained with this protocol (5-year actuarial survival of 87%) is comparable with the overall survival rate of liver-transplant recipients at the authors' institution. In comparison, the best survival rate after OLT for hilar CCA reported in the literature is 64.8% at 5 years in a subset of nine patients with negative lymph nodes. In the absence of a control group, it is difficult to assess with certainty the role of a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but in some patients it seems to prevent or slow progression of the disease while waiting for an available organ. Treatment-related morbidity, although significant, is not prohibitive. Nevertheless, a considerable proportion of treated patients ultimately was found to have advanced disease precluding transplantation. This finding confirms the importance of the staging laparotomy as an essential component of the protocol.

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