Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment delivered directly into the abdomen during surgery. Unlike systemic chemotherapy delivery, which circulates throughout the body via the bloodstream, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen. This allows for higher doses of chemotherapy treatment. Heating the solution also improves the absorption of chemotherapy drugs by tumors and destroy microscopic cancer cells that remain in the abdomen after surgery.
Before patients receive HIPEC treatment, doctors perform cytoreductive surgery—a procedure to debulk, or reduce, the size of a cancerous tumor — within the abdomen. When as many tumors ( as much of a tumor) as possible have been removed, a heated, sterilized chemotherapy solution is delivered to the abdomen to penetrate and destroy remaining cancer cells. The solution is 41 to 42 degrees Celsius, about the temperature of a warm bath. It’s circulated throughout the abdomen for approximately 90 minutes. 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, but no cancer outside the abdomen. In these patients, the cancer is seen in the form of sand like particles over the inner layer of the abdominal cavity called as the peritoneal sheath. Such type of spread is usually seen in the following cancers: