Since introducing hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) at Cleveland Clinic in 2009, the Digestive Disease Institute has performed nearly 100 procedures to date using this alternative and innovative method of delivering chemotherapy. Now, Cleveland Clinic Florida has established a HIPEC program to expand access to this potentially lifesaving procedure.
The first Florida patient was treated in February 2013 as a result of collaboration between clinicians in the Section of Surgical Oncology at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus in Ohio and colleagues at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston.
Sricharan Chalikonda, MD, a general surgeon who pioneered use of HIPEC at Cleveland Clinic main campus, is working closely with Conrad Simpfendorfer, MD, a hepato-pancreato-biliary and transplant surgeon at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Dr. Chalikonda is helping to establish the Florida HIPEC program and advising on the first and most complex cases.
HIPEC at Cleveland Clinic – Weston Florida
HIPEC is a powerful tool that utilizes regional infusion of heated chemotherapy to fight cancer directly in the abdomen in combination with cytoreductive surgery, Dr. Chalikonda explains. Lower exposure to systemic chemotherapy side effects and prolonged survival (for some patients, according to early data) are among the advantages.
“The partnership with Cleveland Clinic main campus will allow patients and physicians to be confident that complex patients in Florida are going to get the exact same level of care they get at our main campus,” Dr. Chalikonda says.
Since HIPEC isn’t widely available in Florida, Dr. Simpfendorfer notes, many patients were opting to go up to Cleveland Clinic main campus, which was the first FDA-approved program in Ohio and remains one of few programs in the country offering the technology.
The extension of HIPEC to Florida was, therefore, natural – as was the collaboration between Drs. Chalikonda and Dr. Simpfendorfer, who trained together as residents.