J Gastrointest Surg. 2022 Oct 24. doi: 10.1007/s11605-022-05495-7. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Evidence for adjuvant chemotherapy in gallbladder cancer (GBC) is conflicting, with a postulated beneficial effect reported in T2 stage or higher, and node-positive tumours. This study aims to assess the survival benefit of peri-operative chemotherapy in stage II (pT2N0) GBCs.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of stage II GBCs who underwent curative surgical resection was done. Patients receiving neo-adjuvant therapy (NACT) prior to resection of the gallbladder primary were excluded. Primary endpoint was disease-free survival, and outcomes of patients who received chemotherapy were compared to those who did not. Survival curves were plotted using a Kaplan-Meier analysis and difference between the survival curves was analysed using a log-rank test.
RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-six patients of stage II GBC were included, of whom 188 (68.1%) received chemotherapy and 88 (31.8%) did not. Forty-one (21.8%) patients received chemotherapy in the neo-adjuvant setting. There was no significant difference in the survival of patients who did and did not receive chemotherapy (5-year DFS 67.8% vs 66%, p = 0.795). There was no significant difference in the survival of patients who received chemotherapy in the adjuvant or neo-adjuvant setting (5-year DFS 66.4% vs 71.8%, p = 0.541). There was no statistically significant difference in the survival of patients with high-risk histologic features and who did and did not receive chemotherapy (3-year DFS 72.4% vs 56%; p = 0.379).
CONCLUSIONS: Routine use of chemotherapy, either in the adjuvant or neo-adjuvant setting, offers no survival advantage in stage II (pT2N0) gallbladder cancers.