Background: Cholangiocarcinoma is relatively rare worldwide. Most previous reports collected only patients with pathological diagnosis. In fact, however, many patients coming to hospital are diagnosed by clinical suspicion with radiologic imaging and receive treatment without histological confirmation. Real survival data and outcome of each treatment, especially for patients that do not have histologic confirmation, are lacking. In this study, therefore, we aimed to analyze the survival rates of CCA patients and the proportions of patients receiving different treatments. Materials and
Methods: A total of 270 patients clinically suspected of CCA and visiting Srinagarind Hospital in May-July 2010, were prospectively followed until December 2014. After checking their clinical records, 163 of 270 patients were finally diagnosed as having CCA, and the data of this group were analyzed for survival rate and received treatments.
Results: Of the 163 patients, 96 (58.9%) had intrahepatic, 56 (34.4%) had perihilar and 11 (6.7%) had distal CCA. The majority [107 (65.6%, 95%CI, 57.8-73.0)] received only supportive care. Overall median survival was 4 months (95%CI, 3.3-4.7), and 2-years survival was only 8.1% (95%CI,4.5-12.9). However, the 4 year survival of the R0 resection group was 100%.
Conclusions: The present results show that the prognosis of CCA is very poor in North-east Thailand. Most CCA patients receive only treatment to alleviate symptoms due to their advanced stage of disease. Complete surgical resection at the early stage is the only treatment that significantly improves patient survival.