Background: There is no standard adjuvant chemotherapy to prevent recurrent cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a rare cancer with poor prognosis. We assessed the efficacy and safety of GEMOX on intrahepatic and hilar CCA with high-risk factors after curative surgery.
Patients and Methods: Twenty two patients (mean age: 57 years old) with CCA received 6 cycles of GEMOX: gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m² on day 1 and oxaliplatin 85 mg/m² on day 2, q3w after a curative surgery.
Results: All patients completed 6 cycles of GEMOX. EGFR membranous expression was present in 20 CCA. The 5-year survival rate was 56% (CI 95%: 25.7–85.4); 2-year disease free survival rate was 28% (CI 95%: 3.4–52.6). Median time to progression was 15 months. The rate of recurrence after surgery and chemotherapy was 63% (14/22). Two patients died of disease progression. Twelve patients received cetuximab/GEMOX at the time of relapse. Six died after 12 months (9–48 months), three are still alive suggesting a clinical applicability of EGFR inhibitors in CCA.
Conclusion: Adjuvant chemotherapy with GEMOX alone seems ineffective in intrahepatic and hilar CCA with a high risk of relapse. Additional studies including targeted therapies to circumvent such poor chemosensitivity are needed.
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