A team of researchers from Japan stratified patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma who underwent hepatectomy into 3 risk groups using preoperative serum markers and developed a regression tree model for recurrence-free and overall survival. 

“These risk classifications are simple and easy to understand and can be clinically applied” to predict prognosis in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, Mitsugu Sekimoto, PhD, of the Kansai Medical University, in Osaka, Japan, and colleagues noted.

The study was recently published in the journal Cancers.

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The research team conducted a retrospective study on 225 patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma who had hepatectomy between January 2009 and December 2020.

The researchers identified preoperative blood test biomarkers to develop a classification system to predict prognosis.

They reported that the 5-year recurrence-free and overall survival rates were significantly different between the 3 risk groups they identified. More precisely, the recurrence-free survival rate of the low-risk group was 60.4%, while that of the moderate-risk group was 22.8%, and that of the high-risk group was 4.1%. 

Similarly, the overall survival rate for the low-risk group was 69.2%. It was 32.3% for the moderate-risk group and 9.2% for the high-risk group.

There was no difference in overall survival between patients in the low-risk group who did or did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy after the surgery. 

However, chemotherapy improved overall survival in the moderate-risk group and significantly improved it in the high-risk group.  

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is a subtype of cholangiocarcinoma, a type of aggressive epithelial tumor located inside the hepatic parenchyma. The disease subtype can occur anywhere in the intrahepatic biliary tree. 

Surgery is the first treatment option for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, but there are many contraindications for surgery, such as metastatic disease. Chemotherapeutic treatments include gemcitabine and cisplatin.


Kaibori M, Yoshii K, Kosaka H, et al. Preoperative serum markers and risk classification in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: a multicenter retrospective study. Cancers. Published online November 7, 2022. doi:10.3390/cancers14215459