Peritoneal carcinomatosis, or cancer that has spread widely to the abdominal cavity, can happen with colorectal, ovarian, appendix, bladder and other cancers. In the past, it was thought that once a person developed carcinomatosis, there were few treatment options and little hope. But that is changing.
Cytoreductive Surgery and Intra Peritoneal Hyperthermic Perfusion (IPHP)
Recent data supports an aggressive surgical approach for colorectal cancer patients with carcinomatosis. The goal is to reduce the tumor burden in the abdominal cavity as much as possible through surgery; then, treat the abdominal cavity with hyperthermic or “hot” chemotherapy. Heating the chemotherapy solution increases its effectiveness.
The procedure is done in the operating room and allows physicians to deliver much higher concentrations of chemotherapy to the abdominal cavity than through an IV, with less toxicity to the body. This combination of treatments can dramatically improve outcomes and survival rates for patients who previously had little hope of survival. Because it is such a specialized procedure, it is done in only a few of the world’s academic medical centers, such as Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin.
Last Review Date: July 13, 2010