Higher Tumor Burden Status Dictates the Impact of Surgical Margin Status on Overall Survival in Patients Undergoing Resection of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma

Yutaka Endo, Kazunari Sasaki, Zorays Moazzam, Henrique A. Lima, Laura Alaimo, Alfredo Guglielmi, Luca Aldrighetti, Matthew Weiss, Todd W. Bauer, Sorin Alexandrescu, George A. Poultsides, Minoru Kitago, Shishir K. Maithel, Hugo P. Marques, Guillaume Martel, Carlo Pulitano, Feng Shen, François Cauchy, Bas Groot Koerkamp, Itaru EndoTimothy M. Pawlik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The present study aimed to examine the prognostic significance of margin status following hepatectomy of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) relative to overall tumor burden and nodal status. Method: Patients who underwent curative-intent surgery for ICC between 1990 and 2017 were included from a multi-institutional database. The impact of margin status and width on overall survival (OS) was examined relative to TBS and preoperative nodal status. Results: Among 1105 patients with ICC who underwent resection, median tumor burden score (TBS) was 6.1 (IQR 4.2–8.8) and 218 (19.7%) patients had N1 disease. More than one in eight patients had an R1 surgical margin (n = 154, 13.9%). Among patients with low or medium TBS, an increasing margin width was associated with an incrementally improved 5-year OS (R1 31.9% vs. 1–3 mm 38.5% vs. 3–10 mm 48.0% vs. ≥ 10 mm 52.3%). In contrast, among patients with a high TBS, margin width was not associated with better survival (R1 28.9% vs. 1–3 mm 22.8% vs. 3–10 mm 29.6% vs. ≥ 10 mm 13.7%). In addition, surgical margin status did not impact survival with cutoffs of TBS 7 or greater. Furthermore, patients with low or medium TBS and preoperative negative lymph nodes derived a survival benefit from an R0 resection (R1 resection, HR 2.15, 95% CI 1.35–3.44, p = 0.001). In contrast, margin status was not associated with prognosis among patients with a high TBS and preoperative positive/suspicious lymph nodes (R1 resection, HR 1.34, 95% CI 0.58–3.11, p = 0.50). Conclusion: R0 resection and wider margin resection resulted in improved outcomes in patients with low tumor burden; however, the survival benefit of negative margin status disappeared in patients with underlying poor tumor biology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Nov 2022

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© 2022, Society of Surgical Oncology.


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