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J Gastrointest Surg. 2007 Aug;11(8):1025-32.

A curative resection improves the postoperative survival rate even in patients with advanced gallbladder carcinoma.

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Department of Surgical Oncology and Regulation of Organ Function, Miyazaki University School of Medicine, 5200 Kihara, Kiyotake, Miyazaki, 889-1692, Japan.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of our series of 90 operations for gallbladder carcinoma according to the Japanese Society of Biliary Surgery (JSBS) classification system and to clarify the appropriate surgical strategy for advanced gallbladder carcinoma based on the depth of primary tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis. Generally, only a surgical resection can achieve a prognostic improvement of the advanced gallbladder carcinoma. The survival of patients with this neoplasm depends strictly on the depth of histological primary tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis. A retrospective analysis was conducted on 90 patients from 1990 to 2004 who underwent a surgical resection of gallbladder carcinoma. The factors influencing survival were examined. Thirty-nine patients with palliative treatment (not resected cases), which was diagnosed as T3 or T4 by preoperative imagings, were also included in this study. The significance of the variables for survival was examined by the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test followed by multivariate analyses using Cox's proportional hazard model. Portal invasion, lymph node metastasis, the surgical margin (+ vs. -) and the final curability (fCurA, B vs. C) were all found to be independent prognostic factors in the multivariate analysis. In pT2 gallbladder carcinoma, a better survival was achieved in an aggressive surgical approach, in order of a S4a+S5 hepatic resection, an extended cholecystectomy and a cholecystectomy. In pT3 and pT4, although radical extended surgery did not provide the opportunity for good survival even after lobectomy of the liver, the survival of patients with curative surgery was statistically better than in those without curative surgery. In addition, the nodal involvement of pN1 to pN2 was better than that with pN3. A S4a+S5 hepatectomy, therefore, appears to be adequate for the treatment of pT2 gallbladder carcinoma. Even in patients with pT3 and pT4 gallbladder carcinoma, long-term survival can be expected by an operation with a tumor-free surgical margin. The role of radical surgery, however, is considered to be limited in patients with pN3 lymph node metastasis.

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