Cancer Institute Announces New Heated Chemotherapy for Some Abdominal Cancers

Premier Pulse     December 2017

Sawyer_105By Frank Sawyer, system vice-president, service integration, oncology, Premier Health

One role of the Cancer Institute is to continually explore ways to improve upon our outstanding cancer services across Premier Health. This year we’ve introduced several new cancer procedures and technologies to treat and support patients across the region.

Earlier this year, we began offering heated (hyperthermic) intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) at Miami Valley Hospital for patients with metastatic cancers that have spread to the peritoneum.

Premier Health has one of only a handful of hospitals across Ohio where HIPEC is performed.

How it Works

HIPEC is a surgical procedure used for advanced colorectal cancers and primary cancers of the appendix or peritoneum. It involves first performing cytoreduction of visible cancerous tissues from the colon, liver, stomach or peritoneum. Once resection is complete, heated chemotherapy is used to bathe the peritoneum and destroy microscopic or stray cancer cells.

Using catheters attached to a heating machine, heated chemotherapy is circulated into the peritoneal cavity for 90 minutes. The heat and movement of the fluid intensifies the drugs’ cancer-fighting abilities. After 90 minutes, we wash out the chemotherapy and close the incisions.

Positive Outcomes for Select Groups

HIPEC is most effective for cancers confined to the abdomen, including pseudomyxoma peritonei, as well as stage 4 colon cancers and peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients must be healthy enough to undergo a six- to 10-hour surgery.

HIPEC isn’t recommended for cancers that start in the liver, stomach or pancreas, or that have spread to organs beyond the abdominal cavity.

HIPEC can cure pseudomyxoma 95 percent to 97 percent of the time. For stage 4 colon cancers confined to the abdominal cavity, national data show overall survival is 22 months with HIPEC vs. 11 months without HIPEC. The five-year survival rate with HIPEC is 22 percent.

Because the chemo isn’t systemic, side effects such as nausea and hair loss tend to be much less severe. HIPEC is typically a one-time treatment.

Back to the December 2017 issue of Premier Pulse

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