Chemoradiotherapy versus chemotherapy alone for unresected intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: Practice patterns and outcomes from the national cancer data base

Vivek Verma, Adams Kusi Appiah, Tim Lautenschlaeger, Sebastian Adeberg, Charles B. Simone, Chi Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Current guidelines recommend chemotherapy (CT) with or without radiotherapy (RT) for unresected intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IC). Although there is currently lack of consensus, previous smaller studies have illustrated the efficacy of local therapy for this population. This investigation evaluated outcomes of chemoradiotherapy (CRT) versus CT alone in unresected IC using a large, contemporary national database. Methods: The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) was queried for primary IC cases (2004-2013) receiving CT alone or CRT. Patients undergoing resection or not receiving CT were excluded, as were those with M1 disease or unknown M classification. Logistic regression analysis ascertained factors associated with CRT administration. Kaplan-Meier analysis evaluated overall survival (OS) between both groups. Cox proportional hazards modeling assessed variables associated with OS. Results: In total, 2,842 patients were analyzed [n=666 (23%) CRT, n=2,176 (77%) CT]. CRT was less likely delivered at community centers, in more recent time periods (2009-2013), to older patients, and in certain geographic locations. Median OS in the CRT and CT groups were 13.6 vs. 10.5 months, respectively (P<0.001). On multivariate analysis, poorer OS was associated with age, male gender, increased comorbidities, treatment at a community center, and treatment at earlier time periods (2004-2008) (P<0.05 for all). Notably, receipt of CRT independently predicted for improved OS (P<0.001). Conclusions: As compared to CT alone, CRT was independently associated with improved survival in unresected IC. These findings support a randomized trial evaluating this question that is currently accruing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-535
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018



  • Chemoradiotherapy (CRT)
  • Chemotherapy (CT)
  • Intrahepatic biliary cancer
  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IC)
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology

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