To systematically review studies reporting survival data following neoadjuvant chemoradiation and orthotopic liver transplantation (NCR-OLT) for unresectable perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (pCC).
Despite survival improvements for other cancers, the prognosis of pCC remains dismal. Since publication of the Mayo protocol in 2000, increasing numbers of series globally are reporting outcomes after NCR-OLT.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched from January 2000 to February 2019. A meta-analysis of proportions was conducted, pooling 1, 3-, and 5-year overall survival and recurrence rates following NCR-OLT across centers. Per protocol and intention to treat data were interrogated. Meta-regression was used to evaluate PSC as a confounder affecting survival.
Twenty studies comprising 428 patients were eligible for analysis. No RCTs were retrieved; the majority of studies were noncomparative cohort studies. The pooled 1, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates following OLT without neoadjuvant therapy were 71.2% (95% CI 62.2%–79.4%), 48.0% (95% CI 35.0%–60.9%), and 31.6% (95% CI 23.1%–40.7%). These improved to 82.8% (95% CI 73.0%–90.8%), 65.5% (95% CI 48.7%–80.5%), and 65.1% (95% CI 55.1%–74.5%) if neoadjuvant chemoradiation was completed. Pooled recurrence after 3 years was 24.1% (95% CI 17.9%–30.9%) with neoadjuvant chemoradiation, 51.7% (95% CI 33.8%–69.4%) without.
In unresectable pCC, NCR-OLT confers long-term survival in highly selected patients able to complete neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by transplantation. PSC patients appear to have the most favorable outcomes. A high recurrence rate is of concern when considering extending national graft selection policy to pCC.