The 3-year survival rate following stereotactic body radiation therapy is over 20% in patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), according to a new study published in the journal Clinical and Translational Oncology

The therapy could, therefore, be a reasonable option for patients who are unable to undergo surgery to treat their disease, the authors noted.

To identify factors affecting survival rates in patients with ICC treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy, a team of researchers from China conducted a long-term study where they followed 43 patients with unresectable diseases treated in this way.

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All patients underwent the treatment at The Third Affiliated Hospital of Naval Military Medical University in Shanghai, China, between January 2016 and December 2018 using CyberKnife, which is a fully robotic radiotherapy device.

The median follow-up time was 15 months, with the longest follow-up time being 78 months.

The median progression-free survival of the patients was 6 months, and their median overall survival was 1 year.

The response rate was 55.2%, and the disease control rate was 86% based on the modified Response Evaluation and Criteria in Solid Tumors (mRECIST) scale.

Following treatment, the 1-year overall survival rate of the patients was 51.2%. This rate went down to 32.6% at 2 years and 23.3% at 3 years.

Using statistical analyses, the researchers identified factors leading to worse overall survival. The factors included multiple nodules, large tumor diameter, high level of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 and carcinoembryonic antigen, and poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status.

The researchers reported that patients who survived at least 3 years after treatment had significantly lower levels of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 and carcinoembryonic antigen, smaller tumor diameters, and a lower number of lesions.


Zhang Xx, Ma Hb, Li Th, et al. Actual over 3-year survival after stereotactic body radiation therapy in patients with unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Clin Transl Oncol. Published online November 19, 2022. doi:10.1007/s12094-022-02979-5