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In Annals of surgical oncology ; h5-index 71.0

BACKGROUND : Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is associated with poor long-term outcomes, and limited evidence exists on optimal resection margin width. This study used artificial intelligence to investigate long-term outcomes and optimal margin width in hepatectomy for ICC.

METHODS : The study enrolled patients who underwent curative-intent resection for ICC between 1990 and 2020. The optimal survival tree (OST) was used to investigate overall (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS). An optimal policy tree (OPT) assigned treatment recommendations based on random forest (RF) counterfactual survival probabilities associated with each possible margin width between 0 and 20 mm.

RESULTS : Among 600 patients, the median resection margin was 4 mm (interquartile range [IQR], 2-10). Overall, 379 (63.2 %) patients experienced recurrence with a 5-year RFS of 28.3 % and a 5-year OS of 38.7 %. The OST identified five subgroups of patients with different OS rates based on tumor size, a carbohydrate antigen 19-9 [CA19-9] level higher than 200 U/mL, nodal status, margin width, and age (area under the curve [AUC]: training, 0.81; testing, 0.69). The patients with tumors smaller than 4.8 cm and a margin width of 2.5 mm or greater had a relative increase in 5-year OS of 37 % compared with the entire cohort. The OST for RFS estimated a 46 % improvement in the 5-year RFS for the patients younger than 60 years who had small (<4.8 cm) well- or moderately differentiated tumors without microvascular invasion. The OPT suggested five optimal margin widths to maximize the 5-year OS for the subgroups of patients based on age, tumor size, extent of hepatectomy, and CA19-9 levels.

CONCLUSIONS : Artificial intelligence OST identified subgroups within ICC relative to long-term outcomes. Although tumor biology dictated prognosis, the OPT suggested that different margin widths based on patient and disease characteristics may optimize ICC long-term survival.

Alaimo Laura, Moazzam Zorays, Endo Yutaka, Lima Henrique A, Butey Swatika P, Ruzzenente Andrea, Guglielmi Alfredo, Aldrighetti Luca, Weiss Matthew, Bauer Todd W, Alexandrescu Sorin, Poultsides George A, Maithel Shishir K, Marques Hugo P, Martel Guillaume, Pulitano Carlo, Shen Feng, Cauchy Fran├žois, Koerkamp Bas Groot, Endo Itaru, Kitago Minoru, Kim Alex, Ejaz Aslam, Beane Joal, Cloyd Jordan, Pawlik Timothy M