Outcome and patterns of care in advanced biliary tract carcinoma (ABC): experience from two tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom


Aims and background. The ABC-02 trial has defined the standard therapy for patients with advanced biliary tract cancer (ABC); however, outcome in an unselected patient population in the UK has not been described. We aimed to investigate the outcome of a series of patients with ABC from two large UK cancer networks.
Methods and study design.We retrospectively reviewed all cases of ABC presenting to two UK cancer networks over a nine-year period. Overall survival (OS) and factors influencing OS were assessed.
Results. Four hundred and two patients were available for analysis. The median OS was 6.2 months. On univariate analysis, age 670 years (P = 0.047), advanced disease stage (P >0.001), gall bladder primary (P = 0.033), poor performance status (P >0.001) and lack of chemotherapy (P >0.001) were associated with worse outcome. Survival was superior in the 36.4% of patients who received palliative chemotherapy (12.5 vs 4.3 months; P >0.001). On multivariate analysis of patients who had chemotherapy, those who did not receive fluoropyrimidine-based regimens (HR = 5.12; P = 0.022) or gemcitabine-based regimens (HR = 5.01; P = 0.021) had a higher mortality, whereas the effect of platinum-containing regimens was of borderline significance (HR = 2.23; P = 0.086). Sites, age, and multi-agent regimens were not significant.
Conclusions. This is one of the largest retrospective studies reporting outcome of palliative chemotherapy for ABC. It confirms the benefit of palliative chemotherapy in an unselected group of patients. Fluoropyrimidine-based regimens appear to be as effective as gemcitabine-based treatments.

Tumori 2014; 100(2): 219 - 224




Matthew T Huggett, Helen Passant, Chris Hurt, Stephen P Pereira, John Bridgewater, Somnath Mukherjee

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