intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a highly concentrated,
heated chemotherapy treatment that is delivered directly to the
Unlike systemic chemotherapy delivery, which circulates throughout the body, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen. This allows for higher doses of chemotherapy treatment. Heating the solution may also improve the absorption of chemotherapy drugs by tumors and destroy microscopic cancer cells that remain in the abdomen after surgery.
The heated, sterilized chemotherapy solution is delivered to the abdomen to penetrate and destroy remaining cancer cells. The solution is given at 41 to 42 degrees Celsius, about the temperature of a warm bath. It’s circulated throughout the abdomen for approximately 1½ hours. The solution is then drained from the abdomen and the incision is closed.
HIPEC is a treatment option for people who have advanced surface spread of cancer within the abdomen, without disease involvement outside of the abdomen.
Advantages of HIPEC
- Allows for high doses of chemotherapy
- Enhances and concentrates chemotherapy within the abdomen
- Minimizes the rest of the body’s exposure to the chemotherapy
- Improves chemotherapy absorption and susceptibility of cancer cells
- Reduces some chemotherapy side effects
“Those diseases which medicines do not cure, the
those which the knife cannot cure, fire cures;
and those which fire cannot cure, are to be reckoned
Hippocrates Aphorisms, 400 BCE