Liver Transplantation as a New Standard of Care in Patients With Perihilar Cholangiocarcinoma? Results From an International Benchmark Study

Eva Breuer, Matteo Mueller, Majella B. Doyle, Liu Yang, Sarwa Darwish Murad, Imran J. Anwar, Shaheed Merani, Ashley Limkemann, Heithem Jeddou, Steven C. Kim, Victor López-López, Ahmed Nassar, Frederik J.H. Hoogwater, Eric Vibert, Michelle L. De Oliveira, Daniel Cherqui, Robert J. Porte, Joseph F. Magliocca, Lutz Fischer, Constantino FondevilaKrzysztof Zieniewicz, Pablo Ramírez, David P. Foley, Karim Boudjema, Austin D. Schenk, Alan N. Langnas, Stuart Knechtle, Wojciech G. Polak, C. Burcin Taner, William C. Chapman, Charles B. Rosen, Gregory J. Gores, Philipp Dutkowski, Julie K. Heimbach, Pierre Alain Clavien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To define benchmark values for liver transplantation (LT) in patients with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (PHC) enabling unbiased comparisons. BACKGROUND: Transplantation for PHC is used with reluctance in many centers and even contraindicated in several countries. Although benchmark values for LT are available, there is a lack of specific data on LT performed for PHC. METHODS: PHC patients considered for LT after Mayo-like protocol were analyzed in 17 reference centers in 2 continents over the recent 5-year period (2014-2018). The minimum follow-up was 1 year. Benchmark patients were defined as operated at high-volume centers (≥50 overall LT/year) after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, with a tumor diameter <3 cm, negative lymph nodes, and with the absence of relevant comorbidities. Benchmark cutoff values were derived from the 75th to 25th percentiles of the median values of all benchmark centers. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-four consecutive patients underwent LT after completion of the neoadjuvant treatment. Of those, 89.6% qualified as benchmark cases. Benchmark cutoffs were 90-day mortality ≤5.2%; comprehensive complication index at 1 year of ≤33.7; grade ≥3 complication rates ≤66.7%. These values were better than benchmark values for other indications of LT. Five-year disease-free survival was largely superior compared with a matched group of nodal negative patients undergoing curative liver resection (n=106) (62% vs 32%, P <0.001). CONCLUSION: This multicenter benchmark study demonstrates that LT offers excellent outcomes with superior oncological results in early stage PHC patients, even in candidates for surgery. This provocative observation should lead to a change in available therapeutic algorithms for PHC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-853
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is supported by the LGID (Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease) Foundation and the Yvonne Jacob Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


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