Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a process in which heated chemotherapy is pumped directly into the abdomen after immediately after tumor removing surgery.
What kinds of cancer can be treated?
- Pseudomyxoma Peritonei – A build-up of mucus in the peritoneal cavity
- Ovarian Carcinoma – Cancer that forms in the tissue of the ovary
- Mucinous Adenocarcinoma of Appendix – A type of cancer that begins in cells that line the appendix and produces mucin
- Gastric Carcinoma – Cancer that forms in tissues lining the stomach
- Colorectal Carcinoma – Cancer that forms in the colon
- Mesothelioma – A benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumor affecting the lining of the chest or abdomen
- Low-Grade Sarcoma – Sarcoma is a cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue
The HIPEC Process
First, surgeons remove all visible tumors from the abdomen. This is known as cytoreductive surgery. While the patient is still in the operating room, a heated chemotherapy drug is pumped through the abdominal cavity. Surgeons rock the patient back and forth on the operating table for about 2 hours to ensure direct contact with all of the remaining cancer cells.
Delivering the chemotherapy in this way also means that it does not get absorbed systemically. It goes right to where the tumor cells are and doesn’t have the kind of systemic side effects that can come with traditional chemotherapy.
What patients should know
This operation can be very long. Depending on how many tumors need to be removed, the tumor removal portion of the operation can take anywhere from a couple of hours to as many as eight or nine hours, and chemotherapy application takes another two hours.