Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated or hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a multimodal treatment plan that has significantly improved survival for peritoneal cancer and mesothelioma patients. This procedure can be performed for cancers of abdomen and chest (thorax). The procedure is called HITOC when it is performed for chest, however, the principle remains the same. This procedure can be performed by laparoscopy in selected patients, reducing the trauma and enhancing the recovery.
- Traditional chemotherapy has little or no effect on these peritoneal cancers.
- The HIPEC procedure is developed to improve the relatively poor results of traditional chemotherapy treatment.
- Although many patients respond well to unheated chemotherapy drugs, the effects are often short-lived.
- Heating is known to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
- As HIPEC is given directly on to the cancer, a high dose of chemotherapy can be given avoiding the dose to rest of the body.
- The average survival was around six months before HIPEC became available. At present half of patients who qualify for HIPEC surgery live longer than five years. That is a huge difference in survival.