Johns Hopkins
600 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21231

 

 

Recent advances in cancer treatments provide Johns Hopkins more effective treatment options for certain late stage gastrointestinal cancers than ever before. A technique called cytoreductive (debulking) surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has been shown to be an effective treatment option for certain peritoneal surface malignancy cancers such as selected stage IV colon cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers including appendiceal cancers and pseudomyxoma peritonei. The peritoneal cavity is a space wrapped between two membranes layering the abdominal wall and organs around the abdomen.

Recent studies have shown that cytoreductive surgery followed by hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is beneficial for certain patients with late-stage gastrointestinal cancers such as colorectal cancers. The procedure can potentially extend their life and also improve quality of life for patients with late stage disease. Since the chemotherapy is delivered internally, some of the traditional side effects of oral or intravenous chemotherapy drugs may be avoided.

Quality of care

HIPEC is a novel approach to treating late stage gastrointestinal cancers, but it is also considered a risky procedure.  Before identifying candidates for HIPEC, Johns Hopkins physicians evaluate the patient case rigorously and discuss the risks and benefits with the patient. They will work with your doctors to determine if the heated chemotherapy wash may be an effective treatment for you.

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HIPEC at Johns Hopkins

HIPEC is an alternative and innovative method of delivering chemotherapy, which is commonly used to treat many types of cancer, to the body. Unlike traditional chemotherapy that is delivered intravenously, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly into the abdomen making it a good option for cancers that originated in or have spread to the abdominal cavity. How does HIPEC work? First, your surgeon removes any visible tumors from the abdomen. Next, HIPEC delivers heated chemotherapy directly inside the abdomen to help destroy any remaining cancer cells and very small tumors that cannot be seen by the surgeon. This is because the chemotherapy circulates inside the abdomen, allowing it to reach more places. The goal of HIPEC is to prevent these cells from growing into new tumors and causing

How does HIPEC work?

First, your surgeon removes any visible tumors from the abdomen. Next, HIPEC delivers heated chemotherapy directly inside the abdomen to help destroy any remaining cancer cells and very small tumors that cannot be seen by the surgeon. This is because the chemotherapy circulates inside the abdomen, allowing it to reach more places. The goal of HIPEC is to prevent these cells from growing into new tumors and causing First, your surgeon removes any visible tumors from the abdomen. Next, HIPEC delivers heated chemotherapy directly inside the abdomen to help destroy any remaining cancer cells and very small tumors that cannot be seen by the surgeon. This is because the chemotherapy circulates inside the abdomen, allowing it to reach more places. The goal of HIPEC is to prevent these cells from growing into new tumors and causing the cancer to return.

What are the benefits of HIPEC procedures?

  • HIPEC allows for a higher concentration of chemotherapy to be delivered into the abdomen more effectively and safer than standard chemotherapy, which is delivered intravenously.
  • This type of chemotherapy is best at killing cancer cells that are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
  • Chemotherapy delivered through HIPEC causes fewer side effects than intravenous chemotherapy. This is because the high concentrations of chemotherapy solution are unable to cross what is known as the peritoneal plasma barrier.
  • Experts say that pairing surgery and HIPEC together may be more beneficial than chemotherapy alone.

Am I a candidate for HIPEC?

Typical HIPEC patients are those with certain Stage IV abdominal cancers. Many are seeking an alternative to traditional chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as these options offer limited success treating advanced abdominal cancers. Patients also may have been told that no other treatment will work, but are still hoping to find a solution.