Cancer Res Treat.  2020 Apr;52(2):455-468. 10.4143/crt.2019.271.

Validation of the 8th Edition of the American Joint Committee onCancer Staging System for Gallbladder Cancer and Implications forthe Follow-up of Patients without Node Dissection

  • 1Department of Pathology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Pathology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The 8th edition of gallbladder cancer staging in the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system changed the T and N categories.
Materials and Methods
In order to validate the new staging system, a total of 348 surgically resected gallbladder cancers were grouped based on the 8th edition of the T and N categories and compared with patients’ survival.
Significant differences were noted between T1b-T2a (p=0.003) and T2b-T3 (p < 0.001) tumors, but not between Tis-T1a, T1a-T1b, and T2a-T2b tumors. However, significant survival differences were observed both by the overall and pair-wise (T1-T2, T2-T3) comparisons (all, p < 0.001) without dividing T1/T2 subcategories. When cases with ! 6 examined lymph nodes were evaluated, significant survival differences were observed among the entire comparison (p < 0.001) and pair-wise comparisons of N0-N1 (p=0.001) and N1-N2 (p=0.039) lesions. When cases without nodal dissection (NX) were additionally compared, significant survival differences were observed between patients with N0-NX (p=0.001) and NX-N1 (p < 0.001) lesions.
The T category in the 8th edition of the AJCC staging system did not completely stratify the prognosis of patients with gallbladder cancer. Modification by eliminating T subcategories can better stratify the prognosis. In contrast, the N category clearly determines patients’ survival with ! 6 examined lymph nodes. The survival time in patients of gallbladder cancers without nodal dissection is between N0 and N1 cases. Therefore, close postoperative followed up is recommended for those patients.


Gallbladder; Cancer; Stage; Survival; Prognosis
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