Gemcitabine and Cisplatin as Neo-Adjuvant for Cholangiocarcinoma Patients Prior to Liver Transplantation: Case-Series

Maen Abdelrahim, Hadeel Al-Rawi, Abdullah Esmail, Jiaqiong Xu, Godsfavour Umoru, Fahad Ibnshamsah, Ala Abudayyeh, David Victor, Ashish Saharia, Robert McMillan, Ebtesam Al Najjar, Doaa Bugazia, Maryam Al-Rawi, Rafik M. Ghobrial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The management of cholangiocarcinoma is continually reviewed on a current evidence basis to develop practice guidelines and consensus statements. However, the standardized treatment guidelines are still unclear for cholangiocarcinoma patients who are listed for liver transplantation. We aimed to validate and evaluate the potential efficacy of chemotherapy combination of Gemcitabine and Cisplatin as a neo-adjuvant treatment for cholangiocarcinoma patients before liver transplantation. Methods: In this prospective case series, patients with locally advanced, unresectable, hilar, or intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma with no evidence of extrahepatic disease or vascular involvement were treated with a combination of neoadjuvant gemcitabine and cisplatin with no radiation. All patients included received chemotherapy prior to being listed for liver transplantation at a single cancer center according to an open-labeled, and center-approved clinical management protocol. The primary endpoints were the overall survival and recurrence-free survival after liver transplantation. Results: Between 1 March 2016, and 15 March 2022, 10 patients (8 males and 2 females) with a median age of 62.71(interquartile range: 60.02–71.87) had a confirmed diagnosis of intrahepatic or hilar cholangiocarcinoma and underwent liver transplantation. Median days of neoadjuvant therapy for a given combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin were 181 (IRQ: 120–250). Nine patients (90%) were reported with no recurrence or metastasis, and only 1 patient had confirmed metastasis (10%); days for metastasis after transplantation were 612 for this patient. All patients received a combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin as neo-adjuvant while awaiting liver transplantation. The median days of follow-up were 851 (813–967). Overall survival was 100% (95% CI 100–100%) at both years one and two; 75% (95% CI 13–96%) at years three to five. One patient died at eight hundred and eighty-five days. No adverse events were reported after liver transplantation including the patient who was confirmed with recurrence. Conclusions: Our finding demonstrated that neo-adjuvant gemcitabine and cisplatin with no radiation prior to liver transplantation resulted in excellent outcomes for patients with cholangiocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3585-3594
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • cholangiocarcinoma
  • cisplatin
  • gemcitabine
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • immunotherapy
  • liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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