St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a non-profit, regional, fully integrated, nationally recognized network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 200 sites, primarily in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and in Warren County, New Jersey.
St. Luke’s Cancer Center offers a highly coordinated and personalized team approach to cancer care. St. Luke’s Cancer Center offers exceptional cancer care in the Greater Lehigh Valley and surrounding communities. St. Luke’s University Health Network operates three comprehensive outpatient cancer centers in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton and provides quality cancer services throughout the region, including Coaldale, East Stroudsburg and Quakertown, all in Pennsylvania. St. Luke’s also provides cancer services in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
More people are successfully being treated for cancer now than at any other time in history, thanks to earlier cancer detection and breakthroughs in cancer treatments and leading cancer technologies. St. Luke’s patients have access to a team of cancer experts who work together to diagnose cancers and provide the most appropriate and effective cancer treatments available today.
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HIPEC at St Luke’s
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 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.