At Moffitt Cancer Center, a multispecialty team of experts assesses each patient’s needs to determine the best strategy for delivering chemotherapy for appendix cancer. In general, a treatment plan will include a specific number of chemo cycles given over a set period of time, with one to two weeks in between each cycle to allow the patient’s body time to recover from any side effects. A patient may receive one drug at a time or a combination of different drugs simultaneously. Because we believe that informed individuals make better treatment decisions, we fully educate each patient about the medications prescribed for him or her, including their purposes and potential side effects as well as any possible alternatives.
Moffitt’s renowned research team is continually investigating the effectiveness of new medications for treating appendiceal cancer. Through our robust clinical trials program, our patients have opportunities to benefit from promising new drugs and drug combinations before those options are available in other settings. This is just one way that Moffitt is consistently challenging the odds by improving both patient outcomes and quality of life.
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HIPEC at Moffitt Cancer
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a targeted treatment that may be used along with cytoreductive surgery to address locally advanced gastric, colorectal, peritoneal, appendiceal or ovarian cancer. Immediately after any visible tumors are surgically removed, a highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy solution is pumped directly into the stomach cavity, where it circulates and targets any remaining cancer cells. HIPEC works for approximately 90 minutes while the patient lies on a special cooling blanket. Afterward, the 108-degree chemo bath is washed away and the surgical incisions are closed.
Benefits of HIPEC
As compared to traditional chemotherapy, HIPEC has several advantages, including:
- Fewer side effects – Rather than entering the bloodstream and circulating throughout the entire body, the cancer-fighting medication is delivered directly into the stomach cavity, where the cancer is. As a result, the chemo is less likely to affect healthy tissues and organs.
- Greater effectiveness – Also known as “hot chemotherapy,” HIPEC uses high temperatures that cause blood vessels to expand, allowing the medication to penetrate more deeply for better absorption. Also, because the chemo drugs remain confined to the stomach cavity, a higher dose can be administered without causing adverse effects.
- A single treatment – Unlike standard chemo, which is delivered intravenously in multiple sessions over the course of several weeks or months, HIPEC is one treatment given in the operating room after cytoreductive surgery.
For some patients, especially those who have an aggressive or difficult-to-treat type of cancer, HIPEC may lead to a better outcome and enhanced quality of life.