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Cancer Treatment Centers of America Offers Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) and Cytoreductive Surgery for Ovarian Cancer Patients

June 17, 2019

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recognizes HIPEC as an option for women with advanced ovarian cancer

In March, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) released updated guidelines stating that Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) using the chemotherapy drug cisplatin can be considered with debulking surgery for stage III epithelial ovarian cancer patients. The guidelines, and the research supporting them, show that HIPEC has gained recognition as a promising and innovative procedure for an advanced and complex disease.

While ovarian cancer remains one of the deadliest of all cancers of the female reproductive system, the medical community has made some important strides in treating it. Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) Chicago is one of the Chicago-area cancer hospitals with an experienced HIPEC program that may benefit women from this specific treatment option.

“At CTCA® Chicago, our surgeons are trained and experienced in HIPEC and cytoreductive, or debulking, procedures,” says Julian Schink, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Cancer Treatment Centers of America. “The procedure itself is highly sophisticated, delivering a highly concentrated, heated dose of chemotherapy to the abdomen immediately after the tumor or cancerous lesions are removed.”

Recent research offers more reason for optimism. One 2018 study, conducted in the Netherlands and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that some ovarian cancer patients experienced improved quality of life and a 12-month improvement in their median overall survival rate when their debulking surgery involved a process called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy(HIPEC).

“The HIPEC procedure achieves a few important goals,” says Hatem Halabi, MD, FACS, Surgical Oncologist and HIPEC Program Director. “First, the patient receives higher doses of chemotherapy. Second, heating the solution may improve the tumors’ ability to absorb the chemotherapy drugs, making them more likely to destroy cancer cells. Third, HIPEC may help destroy microscopic cancer cells that remain in the abdomen after surgery.”

Because the chemotherapy is confined to the abdomen, patients may also experience reduced side effects, and the rest of the body may be exposed to less chemotherapy than through systemic chemotherapy.

For additional information about the CTCA Chicago HIPEC Program, please visit: https://www.cancercenter.com/locations/chicago/departments/peritoneal-surface-malignancies-program