Benefit of adjuvant radiotherapy for gallbladder cancer: a comparability-based meta-analysis

Seo Hee Choi, Chai Hong Rim, In Soo Shin, Won Sup Yoon, Woong Sub Koom, Jinsil Seong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: The benefits of adjuvant radiotherapy (ART) in gallbladder cancer (GBC) treatment remain inconclusive owing to the rarity of GBC and lack of randomized studies. Methods: PubMed, Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library were systematically searched until March 2021. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Comparative clinical studies that reported survival outcomes in GBC patients treated with or without ART were included. The comparability of each study was assessed by considering all possible clinical indicators (group 2: ART arm with poor clinical profile; group 1: ART arm with statistically similar profile or no evidence of having inferior clinical factors compared to non-ART arm). Results: Twenty-one studies involving 6876 GBC patients were reviewed. In pooled analyses of OS, the odds ratio (OR) was 1.26 (p = 0.111) neither favoring ART or non-ART arms. In subgroup analyses considering comparability, the OR significantly favored the ART arm (1.92, p = 0.008) among comparability group 1 studies, whereas it was 1.03 (p = 0.865) in comparability group 2 studies. The pooled rate of 5-year OS in the ART vs. non-ART arms was 44.9% vs. 20.9% in group 1 and 34.1% vs. 40.0% in group 2. With ART, significant reduction in locoregional recurrence (OR 0.21, p = 0.001) but not in distant metastasis (OR 1.32, p = 0.332) was noted. Conclusion: ART not only showed benefits in patients with a similar clinical profile to those treated without ART but also yielded comparable survival in patients with an inferior clinical profile. Our results suggest the more active application of ART in GBC treatment. Protocol registration: This study is registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021240624, available at:

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-727
Number of pages16
JournalHepatology International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology


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