We provide innovative treatment for carcinomatosis and other peritoneal cancers and diseases.
The medical team at NYU Langone’s Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) Program offers advanced treatments to help to manage cancer and other conditions that have spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity and the lining of certain organs. The HIPEC Program is part of NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center.
Certain forms of cancer sometime spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity, a space called the peritoneum. The resulting cancer is called peritoneal surface malignancy, and carcinomatosis is the most common form. Other cancers that can lead to this condition include the following:
cancers of the appendix, including pseudomyxoma peritonei and mucinous neoplasm of the appendix
Peritoneal surface malignancy can be difficult to manage, but the medical team at the HIPEC Program has been successful in using a surgical technique that puts tumors in direct contact with heated chemotherapy agents.
How Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Works
HIPEC treatment is a two-step process. First, the surgeon removes all visible cancer from the abdomen in a procedure called cytoreduction. Next, the remaining smaller tumors are put into direct contact with chemotherapy medicine that is heated to about 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tumor cells are potentially more sensitive to heat than healthy cells are, so the heated chemotherapy affects the abnormal cells more than healthy cells. Putting tumors in direct contact with a high concentration of chemotherapy increases the treatment’s effectiveness and absorption rate compared with standard chemotherapy, which is given through a vein and absorbed into the bloodstream.
The heated chemotherapy agent is circulated through the abdomen, enabling it to reach smaller tumors that are present but not visible. After about 90 minutes, the chemotherapy fluid is drained from the abdomen.
HIPEC treatment is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has been used for more than 20 years. NYU Langone physicians are specially trained in the HIPEC procedure.
Candidates for Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy
Our doctors may recommend HIPEC as a treatment for people with cancer that is confined to the abdominal cavity. Cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain or lungs, cannot be treated with HIPEC.
The surgeon reviews your CT scans to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. The surgeon must be able to surgically remove most of the tumor, leaving only small deposits behind. Larger deposits of cancer cells cannot be sufficiently killed with HIPEC.
Our doctors may recommend this treatment to patients who are in relatively good health and who are able to withstand the risks of chemotherapy and lengthy surgery.