OBJECTIVE: The widespread use of laparoscopy has changed the outcome of gallbladder cancer as a consequence of increasing referral and incidental discovering of earlier stages cancer. Nevertheless, GBC is still associated with a poor prognosis and lymphnodal involvement is a main prognostic factor, important both for staging and for evaluating surgery quality. No consensus exists about the extension of lymphadenectomy to be performed nor about contraindications to extensive resection. A review of literature was so designed to identify the actual role, extension and limits of lymphadenectomy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A search on Pubmed and Scopus has been performed using the following keywords: gallbladder cancer, gallbladder neoplasm, surgery, laparoscopy, lymphadenectomy to evaluate the prognostic and the therapeutic role of the lymphadenectomy in gallbladder cancer.
The retrieved articles were analyzed aimed to evaluate the impact of lymphectomy and of its extension on overall and disease free survival.
RESULTS: Although no consensus still exists over the extension of ideal lymphadenectomy, some points are already clearly established: a part from T1a neoplasms, that do not require further surgery, and T1b for which a regional lymphectomy (N1) is safe and mandatory, more advanced stages require a more aggressive surgery but the fate of paraortic nodal station is still under evaluation. In fact some Authors still believe that the involvement of these nodes determine a so poor prognosis to make uselessly risky their surgical aggression. Other Authors conversely, show that there is not any difference in survival, among node positive patients, between paraortic node positive and no paraortic node positive patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The prognosis of gallbladder cancer remains poor because in most patients the diagnosis is made at an advanced stage. Complete surgical resection provides the only curative treatment option in this disease. In order to improve long-term outcome, several surgeons have advocated aggressive surgical resection, including major hepatectomy, pancreatoduodenectomy and extended lymphadenectomy. Even a para-aortic nodal disease shouldn’t discourage from pursuing this objective.Free PDF Download
To cite this article
G. Piccolo, M. Di Vita, A. Cavallaro, R. Fisichella, A. Zanghì, D. Spartà, F. Cardì, A. Cappellani
Lymph node evaluation in gallbladder cancer: which role in the prognostic and therapeutic aspects. Update of the literature
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 18 - N. 2 Suppl