Introduction: Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are rare tumours with regional differences. Prognostic factors are poorly understood. Gemcitabine + platinum (GP) is the standard first-line chemotherapy in metastatic patients. We aimed to search for prognostic factors in patients with advanced disease in a cancer centre in South America.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with advanced BTC treated with chemotherapy. Variables were age (< or ≥70 years), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (0/1 versus 2/3), gender, primary site (intrahepatic (IHC), extrahepatic (EHC), gallbladder (GB)), staging (locally advanced versus metastatic), metastatic sites, albumin (>3.5 g/dL versus <3.5 g/dL), biliary obstruction and first-line chemotherapy (GP, 5FU-based or single-agent). Cox regression method was used to explore factors.
Results: From 2010 to 2017, 104 patients were included. Median age was 62 years (32–86) and 22.1% were older than 70 years. Most patients had ECOG performance status 0/1 (63.4%), were female (51.9%) and were metastatic (82.7%). Bone metastases were found in 19.2%. Primary IHC, EHC and GB were 54.8%, 36.5% and 8.7%, respectively. GP was used by 79.8%. Median follow-up was 32.4 months. Median overall survival (mOS) was 11.4 months. In univariate analysis, male (p = 0.007), albumin < 3.5 g/dL (p = 0.001), biliary obstruction (p = 0.006), 5FU-based (p = 0.006) and single-agent (p < 0.0001) were associated with worse OS. ECOG performance status 2/3 (p = 0.058) and bone metastases (p = 0.051) were marginally related. In multivariate analysis, male (p = 0.003), bone metastases (p = 0.023), biliary obstruction (p = 0.001), 5FU-based (p = 0.016) and single-agent (p = 0.023) were independently associated with inferior OS.
Conclusion: In this retrospective study, we observed that male patients, bone metastases, biliary obstruction and regimens other than GP had worse survival. Larger studies should be conducted to confirm our findings.