Background

Combined hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma (cHCC-CC) is a rare subtype of primary liver cancers. Its prognostic factors remain unclear. The study aimed to evaluate its long-term outcome and prognostic factors by retrospectively reviewing the series of cHCC-CC after curative resection from our institute.

Methods

A total of 55 pathologically confirmed cHCC-CC patients undergoing curative resections between January 2003 and January 2018 at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China) were included. The clinicopathological and follow-up data were retrieved. Overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survivals (RFS) were analysed by Kaplan–Meier curve. The independent prognostic factors were determined by using univariate and multivariate Cox analyses.

Results

There were 41 males and 14 females, with a median age of 51.0 (interquartile range, 44.0–60.0) years. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year OS and RFS rates in cHCC-CC were 80.0%, 25.5%, and 16.4%, respectively, and 52.7%, 21.8%, and 10.9%, respectively. The median OS and RFS were 24.9 and 14.5 months, respectively. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that elevated alpha-fetal protein (AFP) and/or CA19-9, vascular invasion, local extra-hepatic invasion, and lymph-node metastasis (LNM) were independent unfavorable prognostic factors for OS and RFS (all P <0.005). Furthermore, elevated AFP and/or CA19-9 were independent unfavorable prognostic factors in various subgroups of cHCC-CC, including patients aged <60 years, positive hepatitis B surface antigen, cirrhosis, single tumor, tumor size ≥5 cm, no vascular invasion, no LNM, and no local extra-hepatic invasion (all P <0.05).

Conclusions

Elevated AFP and/or CA19-9, vascular invasion, local extra-hepatic invasion, and LNM were independent unfavorable prognostic factors for long-term survival of cHCC-CC undergoing curative resections. Patients with normal levels of AFP and CA19-9 had better prognosis.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact [email protected]