Background: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) with liver metastasis is considered unresectable. However, there have been infrequent reports of long-term survival in patients with GBC and liver metastases. Therefore, we examined the characteristics of long-term survivors of gallbladder cancer with liver metastasis. Methods: A retrospective multicenter study of 462 patients with GBC (mean age, 71 years; female, 51%) was performed. Although patients with pre-operatively diagnosed GBC and liver metastasis were generally excluded from resection, some cases identified during surgery were resected. Result: In patients with resected stage III/IV GBC (n = 193), the period 2007–2013 (vs. 2000–2006, hazard ratio 0.63), pre-operative jaundice (hazard ratio 1.70), ≥ 2 liver metastases (vs. no liver metastasis, hazard ratio 2.11), and metastasis to the peritoneum (vs. no peritoneal metastasis, hazard ratio 2.08) were independent prognostic factors for overall survival, whereas one liver metastasis (vs. no liver metastasis) was not. When examining the 5-year overall survival and median survival times by liver metastasis in patients without peritoneal metastasis or pre-operative jaundice, those with one liver metastasis (63.5%, not reached) were comparable to those without liver metastasis (40.4%, 33.0 months), and was better than those with ≥ 2 liver metastases although there was no statistical difference (16.7%, 9.0 months). According to the univariate analysis of resected patients with GBC and liver metastases (n = 26), minor hepatectomy, less blood loss, less surgery time, papillary adenocarcinoma, and T2 were significantly associated with longer survival. Morbidity of Clavien–Dindo classification ≤ 2 and received adjuvant chemotherapy were marginally not significant. Long-term survivors (n = 5) had a high frequency of T2 tumors (4/5), had small liver metastases near the gallbladder during or after surgery, underwent minor hepatectomy without postoperative complications, and received postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. Conclusions: Although there is no surgical indication for GBC with liver metastasis diagnosed pre-operatively, minor hepatectomy and postoperative chemotherapy may be an option for selected patients with T2 GBC and liver metastasis identified during or after surgery who do not have other poor prognostic factors.
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