Background: While surgery offers the best curative-intent treatment, many patients with biliary tract malignancies have poor long-term outcomes. We sought to apply a non-mixture cure model to calculate the cure fraction and the time to cure after surgery of patients with peri-hilar cholangiocarcinoma (PHCC) or gallbladder cancer (GBC). Methods: Using the Extrahepatic Biliary Malignancy Consortium, 576 patients who underwent curative-intent surgery for gallbladder carcinoma or peri-hilar cholangiocarcinoma between 1998 and 2014 at 10 major hepatobiliary institutions were identified and included in the analysis. A non-mixture cure model was adopted to compare mortality after surgery to the mortality expected for the general population matched by sex and age. Results: The median and 5-year overall survival (OS) were 1.9 years (IQR, 0.9–4.9) and 23.9 % (95 % CI, 19.6–28.6). Among all patients with PHCC or GBC, the probability of being cured after surgery was 14.5 % (95 % CI, 8.7–23.2); the time to cure was 9.7 years and the median survival of uncured patients was 1.8 years. Determinants of cure probabilities included lymph node metastasis and CA 19.9 level (p ≤ 0.05). The cure fraction for patients with a CA 19.9 < 50 U/ml and no lymph nodes metastases were 39.0 % versus only 5.1 % among patients with a CA 19.9 ≥ 50 who also had lymph node metastasis. Conclusions: Examining an “all comer” cohort, <15 % of patients with PHCC or GBC could be considered cured after surgery. Factors such CA 19.9 level and lymph node metastasis independently predicted long-term outcome. Estimating the odds of statistical cure following surgery for biliary tract cancer can assist in decision-making as well as inform discussions around survivorship.
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