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Surgical Oncology

Hyperthermic Interperitoneal Chemotherapy

What is HIPEC?


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Hyperthermic interperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a technique used to treat gastrointestinal cancers and sarcomas that have spread to the lining of the abdomen.

HIPEC is done in combination with surgery, and involves using a using a heated chemotherapy solution that is circulated throughout the abdominal cavity while the patient is in the operating room.

Following surgery to remove any visible tumors, the patient is connected to a series of catheters and a pumping device that bathes the entire abdominal cavity with the chemotherapy drugs for approximately two hours.

The high temperature of the solution has been found to increase the drug's therapeutic effect. The fluid goes throughout the abdomen to treat any tumor cells that may remain after surgery. Both heat and direct contact with chemotherapy drugs kills the cancer cells.

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What are the benefits of HIPEC?

Clinical studies have shown HIPEC to be significantly more effective than surgery alone for GI cancers that have spread to the abdomen. Combined with tumor removal, HIPEC can improve survival and quality of life for patients who would otherwise have few if any options. The technique has also been shown to reduce pain dramatically.

HIPEC Expertise

The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center surgeons and other GI oncology experts work together closely throughout the treatment process to provide:

For More Information

For more information about HIPEC, please call UMGCC's Division of Surgical Oncology at 410-328-7320. For information on any of the cancer care programs or services at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, please call 1-800-888-8823 or our Patient Referral Office at 410-328-7904.

This page was last updated on: March 11, 2011.

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