City of Hope
1500 East Duarte Rd.
Duarte, CA 91010
HIPEC at City of Hope
What is HIPEC?
HIPEC, or heated intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy, is an alternative method of delivering chemotherapy. Instead of infusing the medications through a vein, the chemotherapy is circulated in the abdominal cavity at the time of surgery. This allows direct treatment of certain cancers which have spread throughout the abdomen.
Surgeons will perform an extensive operation to remove all visible tumors. After completion of this step, heated chemotherapy is circulated in the abdomen for 60-90 minutes. The chemotherapy is then drained, and the surgeons complete the procedure. These operations take more than six hours to complete.
How does HIPEC work?
Surgery removes the larger tumors that can be seen. Unfortunately, smaller tumors or cluster of cancer cells will inevitably be left behind. HIPEC targets these areas and allows for treatment in areas that may not be accessible to surgery.
By placing the chemotherapy directly into the abdomen, doctors can use a higher dosage of the medication. This, combined with heat, creates a lethal environment for cancer cells. Because chemotherapy does not readily cross into the bloodstream, side effects are lessened. Studies are showing that HIPEC with aggressive surgery improves survival in some cancers when compared to chemotherapy alone.