“In the past, there was very little we could offer for patients who presented with advanced surface malignancies,” said Wilbur Bowne, MD, a surgical oncologist and associate professor in the Drexel University College of Medicine. But now, Bowne and a multidisciplinary cancer team at Drexel are some of the few physicians in the region who perform a life-saving treatment for such patients. The procedure is called HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy). It involves a combination of surgery to remove tumors found in the abdominal cavity, followed by the delivery of high doses of targeted, heated chemotherapy to destroy the remaining cancer cells. The entire process requires a dedicated, multi-disciplinary approach based on evidenced-based data, according to Bowne.
Primary Peritoneal Cancer
Primary Peritoneal Cancer is a rare cancer that typically affects women. The cause is unknown. Since the cells of the peritoneum are very similar to the cells found on the surface (epithelium) of the ovary, it is often treated like ovarian cancer.
Despite numerous recent advances in chemotherapy, the overall chance of chemotherapy being curative is still low, and the side effects are difficult for the patient to endure. However, when these cancers are confined to the peritoneal cavity, Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) becomes an option for candidate patients.
Many of the cancers treated with HIPEC are diseases treated by multiple disciplines in medicine and surgery. It is important that patients discuss HIPEC therapy with their oncologists and surgeon who can guide their therapy appropriately. Sometimes a referral to a Surgical Oncologist or Gynecological Oncologist performing HIPEC is helpful and necessary early at the time of diagnosis. These doctors can help determine if a patient can benefit from HIPEC and then formulate a comprehensive treatment plan.
Dr. George Salti
A Patient of Dr. David Arrese
Dr. Jula Veerapong
Patient & Doctor Stories
"HIPEC worked for me, and if it is a possibility for others, I think they should see if it will work for them. I can't thank Dr. Kim enough for saving my life with his expertise. How could I be more grateful?"