The Center for Peritoneal Surface Malignancies provides patients who have advanced abdominal cancer, including peritoneal surface malignancies, access to leading-edge treatment.
What are peritoneal surface malignancies?
The peritoneum is the membrane that lines the cavity of the abdomen. Peritoneal surface malignancies refer to a variety of tumors that include extensive peritoneal involvement and may or may not also involve solid organs, such as the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. These tumors originate from the appendix, rectum, colon, stomach, ovaries and other organs, and then spread to the peritoneal surface of the abdominal cavity and other organs.
Cytoreductive surgery & hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC)
One of the innovative treatments our center offers patients with some forms of advanced stage abdominal cancer is cytoreductive (debulking) surgery followed by hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Cytoreductive surgery is a procedure performed to remove visible tumors within the abdomen. Performed by surgical oncologist Dr. Pragatheeshwar Thirunavukarasu, HIPEC is a heated, sterilized chemotherapy solution which is delivered directly to the abdomen immediately following cytoreductive surgery. The goal is to penetrate and destroy cancer cells that remain in the abdomen after surgery.
Cytoreductive surgery in combination with HIPEC is a treatment option for people who have advanced surface spread of cancer within the abdomen, without disease involvement outside of the abdomen. It may be used to treat some cases of:
There are numerous benefits of HIPEC. In comparison to traditional chemotherapy delivery, HIPEC allows for higher doses of chemotherapy treatment. Heating the solution (i.e., hyperthermia) also enhances the power of the chemotherapy, improving absorption by tumors and susceptibility of tumor cells to chemotherapy. And, because the chemotherapy is kept within the abdomen, it minimizes the rest of the body’s exposure to the treatment. This helps reduce select chemotherapy side effects.
The Center for Peritoneal Surface Malignancies team at Eastern
Dr. Rod Flynn leads our program at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center (Eastern). Dr. Flynn is the Director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Treatment/HIPEC Program. Also a board-certified surgical oncologist, Dr. Flynn has a decade of experience in performing complex and advanced surgical procedures to treat cancer.
Dr. Flynn works with a multispecialty team that includes surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, and radiologists. The team offers each patient a comprehensive cancer treatment plan tailored to his or her needs. Patients' care teams also include nutritionists, naturopathic clinicians, pain management clinicians, mind-body therapists, physical therapists and spiritual counselors to help manage side effects and improve quality of life.