T2 gallbladder cancer shows substantial survival variation between continents and this is not due to histopathologic criteria or pathologic sampling differences

DeSimone M. S., Goodman M., Pehlivanoglu B., Memis B., Balci S., Roa J. C., ...More

VIRCHOWS ARCHIV, vol.478, no.5, pp.875-884, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 478 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00428-020-02968-5
  • Journal Name: VIRCHOWS ARCHIV
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.875-884
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: No


Published data on survival of T2 gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) from different countries show a wide range of 5-year survival rates from 30-> 70%. Recently, studies have demonstrated substantial variation between countries in terms of their approach to sampling gallbladders, and furthermore, that pathologists from different continents apply highly variable criteria in determining stage of invasion in this organ. These findings raised the question of whether these variations in pathologic evaluation could account for the vastly different survival rates of T2 GBC reported in the literature. In this study, survival of 316 GBCs from three countries (Chile n = 137, South Korea n = 105, USA n = 74), all adequately sampled (with a minimum of five tumor sections examined) and histopathologically verified as pT2 (after consensus examination by expert pathologists from three continents), was analyzed. Chilean patients had a significantly worse prognosis based on 5-year all-cause mortality (HR: 1.89, 95% CI: 1.27-2.83, p = 0.002) and disease-specific mortality (HR: 2.41, 95% CI: 1.51-3.84, p < 0.001), compared to their South Korean counterparts, even when controlled for age and sex. Comparing the USA to South Korea, the survival differences in all-cause mortality (HR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.12-2.75, p = 0.015) and disease-specific mortality (HR: 1.94, 95% CI: 1.14-3.31, p = 0.015) were also pronounced. The 3-year disease-specific survival rates in South Korea, the USA, and Chile were 75%, 65%, and 55%, respectively, the 5-year disease-specific survival rates were 60%, 50%, and 50%, respectively, and the overall 5-year survival rates were 55%, 45%, and 35%, respectively. In conclusion, the survival of true T2 GBC in properly classified cases is neither as good nor as bad as previously documented in the literature and shows notable geographic differences even in well-sampled cases with consensus histopathologic criteria. Future studies should focus on other potential reasons including biologic, etiopathogenetic, management-related, populational, or healthcare practice-related factors that may influence the survival differences of T2 GBC in different regions.