Surgical options for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is the second most common primary liver cancer, accounting for 10–15% of primary hepatic malignancy. The incidence and cancer-related mortality of ICC continue to increase worldwide. At present, hepatectomy is still the most effective treatment for ICC patients to achieve long-term survival, although its overall efficacy may not be as good as that for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) due to the unique pathogenesis and clinical-pathological profiles of ICC. Viral infection, lithiasis and metabolic factors may all be associated with the pathogenesis of ICC. Poor blood supply, cirrhosis (in rare cases), surrounding organ invasion, and lymph node/distal metastasis have significant impacts on the selection of surgical strategies, surgical resection rate, postoperative complications, recurrence and metastasis. Surgical treatment for ICC includes R0 resection, lymphadenectomy, total gross resection of the involved biliary tracts, blood vessels and surrounding tissues in adjacent organs, and reconstruction. Postoperative adjuvant therapy and local-regional therapy after recurrence may improve survival. Liver transplantation (LT) is reported to have a moderate treatment effect on early ICC although its efficacy remains controversial. In this article, we reviewed the epidemiology and staging of ICC and highlighted the selection of surgical modalities and postoperative outcomes of ICC patients via literature review.