Surgical treatment of gallbladder cancer

C. Burcin Taner, David M. Nagorney, John H. Donohue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Gallbladder cancer is usually a fatal illness because early stages of this carcinoma cause no specific signs or symptoms. Although the best chance of cure for gallbladder cancer remains incidental discovery, radical resection of the gallbladder, with the adjacent liver, adherent structures, plus a regional lymphadenectomy, has been suggested to improve survival. We retrospectively analyzed all patients with gallbladder cancer who were treated surgically at Mayo Clinic (Rochester) between 1984 and 2000. There were 131 patients for whom complete survival information was available. Patients who underwent a radical cholecystectomy had a significantly longer median survival (24 months) than patients who had a simple cholecystectomy (6 months) or noncurative treatment (4 months) (P < 0.0001). The radical cholecystectomy group had significantly longer survival than the simple cholecystectomy group for all American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stages except stage I. Of the different variables tested in a univariate analysis (sex, surgical treatment modality, AJCC stage, tumor grade, jaundice, hyperbilirubinemia, and adjuvant therapy), all variables except sex, tumor grade, and adjuvant therapy were statistically significant predictors for the survival of patients with gallbladder cancer. AJCC stage and surgical treatment modality were the only significant predictors in a multivariate analysis. Our results support radical surgical resection for the treatment of gallbladder cancer to improve patient survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Radical cholecystectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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