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HIPEC therapy – an innovative method of cancer treatment

Thanks to advances in modern medicine, cancer is no longer a curse. Patients with early-stage cancer have a good chance of a full recovery, provided they receive timely and high-quality medical care. Advanced cancer is more difficult to treat. Many new and effective treatments for advanced cancer have emerged in recent years, including HIPEC surgery.

What is HIPEC therapy?

HIPEC stands for hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. As the name suggests, this treatment is based on the use of chemotherapy drugs. However, the chemotherapy drugs are administered in an unusual way. HIPEC involves washing the abdominal cavity with a heated, concentrated solution of chemotherapy drugs. This destroys the cancer cells.

Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is given if the cancer has spread to the peritoneum. This pathological condition is also called peritoneal carcinomatosis. Peritoneal carcinomatosis is seen in these cancer types:

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Appendix cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Adrenal cancer
  • Primary peritoneal tumors such as mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma

Efficacy of intraperitoneal chemotherapy

HIPEC therapy is considered to be a very effective treatment for peritoneal carcinomatosis. The high effectiveness of the procedure is due to the following factors

  • Heat provides better penetration of chemotherapeutic agents into tissues
  • During the HIPEC therapy doctors can use much higher concentrations of chemotherapy drugs compared to the systemic administration
  • High temperature alone can cause cancer cell death

According to research, intraperitoneal chemotherapy can significantly increase life expectancy in patients with advanced cancer. In certain cases, HIPEC treatment leads to complete recovery.

How is the procedure carried out?

HIPEC therapy is a part of the multimodality cancer treatment. The first step is cytoreductive surgery. During the operation, all visible and palpable tumor foci in the abdominal cavity are removed. The surgeon removes parts of the organs affected by the malignant process, as well as parts of the peritoneum. Cytoreductive surgery is carried out very carefully, the procedure can take 5-6 hours. However, no matter how perfectly the operation is performed, microscopic atypical spots may still remain in the abdominal cavity.

Thus, the HIPEC therapy is performed immediately after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. The procedure is carried out as follows. Drainage tubes connected to a special apparatus and temperature sensors are inserted into the abdominal cavity. Hot drug solution is delivered through the drains, which circulates in the abdominal cavity for 1 hour. The total volume of perfusion is 3-5 liters. High concentration of chemo drugs kills cancer cells. At the end of HIPEC surgery, the chemotherapeutic agent is removed from the abdominal cavity, the drainage tubes are removed, and the surgical wound is sutured.

In 2 weeks after intraperitoneal chemotherapy a control examination is performed, during which the radicality of the procedure is evaluated. Further examinations are carried out at quarterly intervals.

Where to undergo HIPEC therapy?

HIPEC therapy is an innovative method of cancer treatment. In the CIS, this procedure is performed only in a few large clinics. But abroad, this technique has been used for a long time. You can undergo HIPEC therapy in oncological clinics in Germany, Turkey, etc. The medical tourism operator Booking Health will help you to get treatment abroad. The company’s managers will choose the best HIPEC hospital and organize treatment without being on the long waiting list. With Booking Health you won’t need to pay any extra fees for foreigners, so treatment costs will be more affordable.