Perihilar cholangiocarcinoma is one of the most challenging diseases with poor overall survival. The major problem for anyone trying to convincingly compare studies among centers or over time is the lack of a reliable staging system. The most commonly used system is the Bismuth-Corlette classification of bile duct involvement, which, however, does not include crucial information such as vascular encasement and distant metastases. Other systems are rarely used because they do not provide several key pieces of information guiding therapy. Therefore, we have designed a new system reporting the size of the tumor, the extent of the disease in the biliary system, the involvement of the hepatic artery and portal vein, the involvement of lymph nodes, distant metastases, and the volume of the putative remnant liver after resection. The aim of this system is the standardization of the reporting of perihilar cholangiocarcinoma so that relevant information regarding resectability, indications for liver transplantation, and prognosis can be provided. With this tool, we have created a new registry enabling every center to prospectively enter data on their patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma. The availability of such standardized and multicenter data will enable us to identify the critical criteria guiding therapy.
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