Article Abstract

Multimodality management of incidentally detected gall bladder cancer: long term results from a tertiary care cancer centre

Authors: Sunil Kumar, Sandeep Bhoriwal, Dillip Muduly, Madhabananda Kar, Atul Sharma, Sushmita Pathy, Nootan Kumar Shukla, S. V. Suryanarayan Deo


Background: Gall bladder cancer (GBC) is the most common biliary tract malignancy in India. GBC present either with incidental diagnosis after simple cholecystectomy (SC) or with a primary gall bladder mass. Incidentally detected gall bladder cancer (ICGB) has traditionally been thought to be a relatively early stage disease but there are controversies associated with various aspects of its management. In this article we describe our experience with multimodality management of ICGB.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of incidentally detected GBC patients was performed to analyze the profile of presentation and treatment outcome. After initial radiological evaluation for operability, all the patients underwent surgical exploration. If found resectable, revision surgery including 2 cm wedge resection of liver and lymphadenectomy was done followed by concurrent chemo-radiation for tumors T2 and above stages.
Results: A total of 54 patients with incidentally detected GBC with a male to female ratio of 1:3 and mean age of 47.5 years were included in the study. Thirty-four (63%) patients underwent curative resection followed by adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. The remaining 20 patients had metastatic/unresectable disease. The 5 years disease free and overall survival (OS) for patients receiving curative treatment was 64% and 72% respectively. On univariate analysis, presence of residual disease in the gallbladder fossa and liver were significant risk factors for disease recurrence. Depth of invasion, adjuvant treatment received and stage were significant prognostic factors for OS.
Conclusions: Incidentally detected GBC is increasing in incidence. A multi-modality approach with revision surgery and adjuvant chemo-radiation treatment may yield better outcome. Presence of residual disease is a poor prognostic factor. Optimal evaluation before SC and early referral to specialty center is therefore important in patients with suspicion of gallbladder malignancy because first chance is probably the best chance.