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Combined photodynamic therapy with systemic chemotherapy for unresectable cholangiocarcinoma.

Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics

Authors: Maria Angeles Gonzalez-Carmona, Maximilian Bolch, Christian Jansen, Annabelle Vogt, Matthias Sampels, Raphael U Mohr, Katrin van Beekum, Robert Mahn, Michael Praktiknjo, Jacob Nattermann, Jonel Trebicka, Vittorio Branchi, Hanno Matthaei, Steffen Manekeller, Jörg C Kalff, Christian P Strassburg, Tobias J Weismüller

BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy with gemcitabine and cisplatin is the current standard for patients with unresectable cholangiocarcinoma. Local photodynamic therapy has also demonstrated benefit in patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

AIM: To evaluate the benefit of photodynamic therapy in combination with systemic chemotherapy in advanced extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

METHODS: Three hundred and fifty-three patients diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma between 2004 and 2016 were treated at the University Hospital of Bonn, Germany. Of these, 96 suffering from unresectable extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma were included. Patients were stratified according to treatment: combination photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy (36 patients), photodynamic therapy alone (34 patients), and chemotherapy alone (26 patients).

RESULTS: Combined photodynamic therapy with chemotherapy resulted in significantly longer overall survival than chemotherapy alone (P = 0.022). Median survival was 20 months in the combination group (95% CI: 16.38-23.62), 15 months in the photodynamic alone group (95% CI: 10.02-19.98) and 10 months in the chemotherapy alone group (95% CI: 8.45-11.55). In multivariate analysis, combination therapy and photodynamic therapy alone (HR: 0.41, 95% CI: 0.22-0.77, P = 0.006), metal stenting, and radiofrequency ablation were independent predictors of longer survival.

CONCLUSIONS: Combination photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy was well tolerated and resulted in significantly longer survival than chemotherapy alone. Application of photodynamic therapy significantly correlated with longer survival, demonstrating benefit in advanced cholangiocarcinoma. Thus, photodynamic therapy should be considered during therapeutic decision making in advanced cholangiocarcinoma.

© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

PMID: 30637783

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