A 79-year-old female patient was referred to our hospital for treatment of a recurrent gallbladder cancer. Before admission, she had undergone expanded cholecystectomy and had been treated successfully with 5-FU for 3 years to suppress the tumor growth in intraperitoneal lymph nodes. The recurrence of the tumor in lymph nodes near the pancreas head was demonstrated by computer tomography. We tried a course of a combination chemotherapy consisting of CPT-11 and CDDP (40 mg CPT-11/body/day on day 1 and 10 mg CDDP/body/day on day 2-5) to reduce the size of the nodes. Then, we repeated a total of 8 courses of the therapy at 4-week intervals. The status of the nodes was not changed for a year. Then, the lymph node started to enlarge again and obstructive jaundice appeared. So, we substituted gemcitabine (1 g/body/day) for the combination chemotherapy with expandable metallic stent implantation to drain the bile. As a result, metastatic lymph nodes were reduced in size and the dilatation of the interhepatic bile duct disappeared. Thereafter, the patient was given an additional 20 courses of gemcitabine therapy at 2-week intervals as an outpatient. No change was observed in the size of the metastatic lymph nodes for a year. However, the patient died of liver metastasis 8 years after operation and 6 years after she started chemotherapy for the recurrence. She maintained a good quality of life during that time. The present case suggests that combination of chemotherapy protocols is effective for clinical management of gallbladder cancer recurrence, which is generally considered to be difficult to manage with chemotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) represents 3.8% of all gastrointestinal cancers and usually known to be of a poor prognosis. In 0.2–2.9% of cases, this cancer is found in cholecystectomy specimens. A better understanding of spread mode of this tumor helps a better surgical management. The aim of the present review is to underline the management of GBC based on the comprehension of risk factors and anatomic features. A Medline, PubMed database search was performed to identify articles published from 2000 to 2011 using the keywords ‘carcinoma of gallbladder’, ‘incidental gallbladder cancer’, ‘gallbladder neoplasm’ and ‘cholecystectomy’. Some pathological situations such as chronic lithiasis and biliopancreatic junction abnormalities have been clearly identified as predisposing to GBC. Laparoscopy increases peritoneal and parietal tumor dissemination, thus, it should not be performed when GBC is suspected. Most determinant prognostic factors are nodal, perineural and venous involvement, invasion of the cystic duct and the tumor differentiation. The simple cholecystectomy is sufficient for tumors classified as T1a; for other cancers exceeding the muscularis, radical re-resection is required due to the high risk of recurrence. This aggressive surgery improved the overall survival of patients. There is still no standard adjuvant treatment; patients should be included in prospective trials.
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