Background: Management and outcomes of patients with recurrent intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) following curative-intent surgery are not well documented. We sought to characterize the treatment of patients with recurrent ICC and define therapy-specific outcomes. Methods: Patients who underwent surgery for ICC from 1990 to 2013 were identified from an international database. Data on clinicopathological characteristics, operative details, recurrence, and recurrence-related management were recorded and analyzed. Results: A total of 563 patients undergoing curative-intent hepatic resection for ICC who met the inclusion criteria were identified. With a median follow-up of 19 months, 400 (71.0 %) patients developed a recurrence. At initial surgery, treatment was resection only (98.8 %) or resection + ablation (1.2 %). Overall 5-year survival was 23.6 %; 400 (71.0 %) patients recurred with a median disease-free survival of 11.2 months. First recurrence site was intrahepatic only (59.8 %), extrahepatic only (14.5 %), or intra- and extrahepatic (25.7 %). Overall, 210 (52.5 %) patients received best supportive care (BSC), whereas 190 (47.5 %) patients received treatment, such as systemic chemotherapy-only (24.2 %) or repeat liver-directed therapy ± systemic chemotherapy (75.8 %). Repeat liver-directed therapy consisted of repeat hepatic resection ± ablation (28.5 %), ablation alone (18.7 %), and intra-arterial therapy (IAT) (52.8 %). Among patients who recurred, median survival from the time of the recurrence was 11.1 months (BSC 8.0 months, systemic chemotherapy-only 16.8 months, liver-directed therapy 18.0 months). The median survival of patients undergoing resection of recurrent ICC was 26.7 months versus 9.6 months for patients who had IAT (p <0.001). Conclusions: Recurrence following resection of ICC was common, occurring in up to two-thirds of patients. When there is recurrence, prognosis is poor. Only 9 % of patients underwent repeat liver resection after recurrence, which offered a modest survival benefit.
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