Surgical Therapy for Perihilar Cholangiocarcinoma: State of the Art

Lynn E. Nooijen, Rutger-Jan Swijnenburg, Heinz-Josef Klümpen, Joanne Verheij, Geert Kazemier, Thomas M. van Gulik, Joris I. Erdmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Surgical therapy still offers the only chance of long-term survival for patients with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (pCCA). The aim of this narrative review is to summarize the current standards and challenges in the surgical treatment of pCCA. Summary: After imaging and defining resectability, the first step towards optimal surgical treatment is optimizing biliary drainage and preventing cholangitis, followed by securing adequate future liver remnant volume and/or function. The main goal of resection for pCCA is achieving radical resection and ultimately long-term survival. In order to achieve radical resection, several points will be addressed (e.g., vascular resection and reconstruction, intraoperative frozen sections, right versus left hemihepatectomy, and the usefulness of preoperative [chemo]therapy). Key Messages: In order to optimize long-term outcomes for patients with pCCA, collaboration between leading centers should be increased. In addition, this collaboration is necessary to design large prospective randomized controlled trials, as the incidence of pCCA is low and the number of resectable patients is even lower. Currently, most results are based on small retrospective cohort studies resulting in low evidence. In order to properly investigate how to improve long-term survival, we need to set up trials to confirm the results of small series suggesting the positive effect of preoperative chemotherapy and extended lymph node resection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalVisceral Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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