The role of adjuvant chemotherapy in biliary tract cancer is controversial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effect of adjuvant chemotherapy in biliary tract cancer patients.
A literature search was performed to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing adjuvant chemotherapy versus observation, and a pooled analysis was conducted using the random-effect model.
Three RCTs (N = 866) were included. No difference was observed between chemotherapy and observation in terms of OS (HR 0.91; 95 %CI, 0.75-1.09; p = 0.295), whereas a significant improvement in RFS was shown (HR 0.83; 95 %CI, 0.69-0.99; p = 0.040). No subgroup that benefited most from adjuvant chemotherapy was identified, although a trend was observed in N+ patients (HR 0.83; 95 %CI, 0.65-1.08; p = 0.165).
Adjuvant chemotherapy yields a significant RFS benefit in biliary tract cancer patients and should be considered for those who are able to tolerate additional treatment after surgery.
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