Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy after Chemotherapy for Unresectable Perihilar Cholangiocarcinoma: The STRONG Trial, a Phase I Safety and Feasibility Study

Rogier Baak*, Francois E. J. A. Willemssen, Yvette van Norden, Ferry A. L. M. Eskens, Maaike T. W. Milder, Ben J. M. Heijmen, Bas Groot Koerkamp, Dave Sprengers, Lydi M. J. W. van Driel, Heinz-Josef Klumpen, Wilhelm den Toom, Merel S. Koedijk, Jan N. M. IJzermans, Alejandra Mendez Romero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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Abstract

Simple Summary The role of radiotherapy in the treatment of perihilar cholangiocarcinoma has not yet been properly defined. In this prospective study, we therefore explored the addition to first-line chemotherapy of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) delivered in 15 fractions. Patients eligible for the study had been diagnosed with unresectable perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, and then had no progressive disease after completing treatment with 6-8 cycles of cisplatin-gemcitabine. Primary endpoints were feasibility and safety. Secondary endpoints were local control, progression-free survival, overall survival, and quality of life. As each patient completed the SBRT successfully and no dose-limiting toxicity was found, we consider this treatment to be both feasible and safe. The local control rate and overall survival were promising. However, due to the small sample size of this study, we urge the analysis of this treatment in a larger series of patients. Background: In unresectable pCCA, the standard of care is palliative chemotherapy. We investigated the feasibility and safety of adding stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) after chemotherapy. Methods: Patients with unresectable pCCA, stage T1-T4N0-N1M0, ECOG 0-1, having finished 6-8 cycles of cisplatin and gemcitabine without disease progression were eligible. SBRT was planned in 15 fractions of 3.0-4.5 Gy. The primary endpoints were feasibility (defined as completing SBRT as planned) and toxicity, evaluated within 3 months after SBRT (CTCAE v4.03). A conventional "3 + 3" design was used, corresponding to a sample size of 6 patients. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as grade >= 4 hepatobiliary or grade >= 3 gastrointestinal toxicity. The secondary endpoints, measured from the start of radiotherapy, were local control, progression-free survival, overall survival, and quality of life (QoL). ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03307538. Results: Six patients were enrolled between November 2017 and March 2020. SBRT was delivered as planned. All patients were treated with 60Gy (15 x 4.0Gy). No SBRT-related DLT was observed. The most common grade >= 3 toxicity was cholangitis (n = 5). The median follow-up was 14 months. The 12-month local control rate was 80%. We observed no substantial changes in QoL. Conclusion: In patients with unresectable pCCA with stable disease after palliative chemotherapy, adding SBRT is feasible and safe. The observed local control merits an additional evaluation of effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2021

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