The Clinical Benefit of Adjuvant Therapy in Long-Term Survival of Early-Stage Ampullary Carcinoma: A Single Institutional Experience

Ashish Manne, Haris Hatic, Peng Li, Rojymon Jacob, Grant Williams, Ravi Paluri


Background: The role of adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) or combination chemoradiation (CRT) remains uncertain for ampullary carcinoma (AC). In this analysis, we reviewed our institutions experience with early-stage AC.

Methods: AC patients who had definitive surgical intervention at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, between 2005 and 2015, were identified. Clinicopathologic factors and disease statuses were obtained from chart review. The univariate Cox proportional hazard model was conducted for evaluating the parameters associated with overall survival (OS). Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank method were used to compare the time-to-events. We estimated the survival for the patients who had definitive surgery (pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) or ampullectomy), and followed them up with assessing the influence of adjuvant treatment (chemoradiotherapy or CT) alone on the survival in the early-stage (stage I/II) AC.

Results: A total of 63 patients had definitive surgery. The median OS and progression-free survival (PFS) for all the patients who had definitive surgery were 40.5 months and 28 months, respectively. Adjuvant treatment was administered in 60% of patients with early-stage (stage I/II) AC (CT 36% and CRT 24%), while 22% were on surveillance post surgery. The pathological stage ? 2, Lymph node (LN) metastasis, peri-nodal extension (PNE) and peri-pancreatic extension (PPE) were found to be the determinants for poor OS and PFS by univariate analysis. Multiple Cox regression of these variables showed a significant influence of PPE and pathological staging on the OS and PFS, respectively. In the early-stage AC with no high-risk features, adjuvant therapy did not improve the survival over surgery alone (40.5 vs. 51.7 months, P = 0.93). The addition of radiation to CT did not yield improved outcome in early-stage cancers. For CRT and CT, OS was 22.8 versus 65.7 months (P = 0.3975), and PFS was 25.3 versus 65.7 months (P = 0.4699).

Conclusions: In the early-stage AC, adjuvant therapy may not improve the outcome in the short term but may benefit over a long period. It should be considered, especially in patients with adverse risk factors. Radiation therapy may not be useful in managing AC in the adjuvant setting.

J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(9):560-567


Ampullary cancer; Cancer of ampulla of Vater; Adjuvant treatment; Early-stage ampullary cancer; Peri-ampullary cancer; Post-operative management of ampullary cancer; Adverse factors for ampullary cancer

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