Combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma (cHCC-CCA) is a primary liver carcinoma with both hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) components. We examined the clinicopathological characteristics and recurrence patterns of cHCC-CCA. Because of the rarity of cHCC-CCA, its etiology, clinicopathological features, and prognosis in comparison with other primary liver carcinoma remain unknown. Its recurrence pattern and sites in particular also need to be elucidated.
All patients who underwent hepatectomy for primary liver malignancies between 2005 and 2015 were retrospectively included in this study.
Eight hundred and ninety-four hepatectomies were performed. Nineteen cases of cHCC-CCA (2.1%) in 16 patients were enrolled. Three patients underwent re-hepatectomy. The background of hepatitis viruses and tumor marker patterns of cHCC-CCA were similar to those of HCC and dissimilar to those of iCCA. Biliary invasion was common in cHCC-CCA and iCCA. The 5-year overall survival values of the cHCC-CCA, HCC, and iCCA patients were 44.7%, 56.6%, and 38.5%, respectively. The 5-year recurrence-free survival values of the cHCC-CCA, HCC, and iCCA patients were 44.7%, 56.6%, and 38.5%, respectively. The liver was the most common recurrence site. Unlike HCC, however, the lymph node was the second-most common recurrence site in both cHCC-CCA and iCCA. Pathological samples of the recurrent lesions were obtained in six patients, and four had cHCC-CCA recurrence pathologically.
cHCC-CCA had a mixture of characteristics of HCC and iCCA. Many cases of cHCC-CCA remained cHCC-CCA pathologically even after recurrence.