ORIGINAL PAPERS
Survival and Quality of Life of Cholangiocarcinoma  Patients: a Prospective Study over a 4 Year Period

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Florentina Mihalache, Marcel Tantau, Brindusa Diaconu, Monica Acalovschi

3rd Medical Clinic, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj Napoca, Romania

Abstract

Background and aims:
Cholangiocarcinomas (CCAs) are tumors with a poor prognosis and a lower quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the survival rate and quality of life in CCA patients.

Method
: We prospectively enrolled 133 patients diagnosed with CCA in the 3rd Medical Clinic, Cluj Napoca, over a 4-year period (2005-2009). The QoL was evaluated by means of a QoL questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30).

Results
: The mean age of the patients was 65 ± 10.6 years: 55% were males. 71% of the patients had hilar tumor (Klatskin), 23% distal and 6% intrahepatic CCA (IH). Only 11.3% of the patients were eligible to receive curative treatment. The 1-year overall survival was 22.3 ± 4.4% and the 2-year survival was 3.4 ± 2.1%. The patients receiving metallic stents had better survival than those receiving plastic stents (40.4% vs 12.5% at 1 year, 9.1% vs 5.0% at 2 years, respectively). The 1-year survival was significantly improved for patients who underwent surgery plus adjuvant chemotherapy. The post-therapy QoL demonstrated a less improvement in Klatskin tumor patients than in patients with other types of tumors. Endoscopic palliative therapy allowed a faster community reintegration, but with variable evolution.

Conclusions
: The highest 2-year survival rate was 5.5%. Slightly longer survival was recorded when chemotherapy was added and also after endoscopic placement of metallic stents. Endoscopic biliary decompression improved the QoL faster than surgery.

 Key words

Cholangiocarcinoma - survival - quality of life - biliary stents - adjuvant chemotherapy - curative surgery - TNM stages.