Hyperthermic (heated) intraperitoenal chemotherapy, or "HIPEC" for short, increases survival outcomes
- Hyperthermic (heated) intraperitoneal chemotherapy delivers heated chemo drugs directly into a woman's abdomen right after ovarian cancer surgery
- The treatment offers a higher, and targeted, dose of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells that remain after a debulking procedure
- Patients must meet certain criteria to be eligible for treatment
- 40 percent of patients at five years have no cancer recurrence
HIPEC: Heated Chemotherapy Treatment Following SurgeryRead More
"It's really a chemotherapy treatment that follows a major surgery, and doesn’t change the procedure that much in and of itself," says Dr. James Lilja, gynecologic oncologist at Bay Area Gynecology Oncology in San Jose, which has provided HIPEC services under clinical trial setting since 2006, and was the first in the state of California.
Dr. Lilja says that HIPEC does not add significantly more toxicity than a typical ovarian cancer surgery alone.
Eligibility for HIPEC Treatment
"Our clinical trial, just like any other clinical trial, has what’s called entry and exclusion criteria," says Dr. Lilja. To qualify for treatment patients
- Must be under age 75
- Have no major medical problems that would prevent surgery
- Have disease limited to the abdominal cavity
- Have just one malignancy (for instance, you can't have breast cancer at the same time)
Increased Survival Outcomes After 5 Years
"What I can say is that the evidence has mounted for ovarian cancer. Forty percent of our patients at five years have not recurred," says Dr. Lilja. "And this seems to be regardless of the number of recurrences they’ve had prior to us entering them into the study. That's pretty goodthat's a lot higher than the palliation we can achieve for standard chemotherapy alone. When we’re able to resect all the cancer and add HIPEC, we’re able to achieve that 40 percent, five-year survival."