Surgical oncologists with University of Minnesota Health Cancer Care are leaders in the treatment of cancers for which HIPEC has shown to be an effective treatment option. In 2002, our surgical oncologists started one of the first HIPEC programs in the upper Midwest and continue to be a regional and national leader in this advanced treatment. In addition, our surgical oncologists continue to perform research and publish studies to improve this treatment.
HIPEC may be a good option for patients with metastatic cancer in the abdomen, in which numerous tumors are located throughout and within the lining of the abdomen, which are difficult to surgically remove.
How it works
Patients with gastrointestinal cancer may have hundreds of small tumors on the lining (peritoneum) of the abdominal cavity. These types of tumors are difficult to treat with conventional chemotherapy. First, the surgical oncologist systematically removes all the visible tumors in the abdomen. During the same operation, HIPEC treatment is delivered by surgeons in the operating room. The heated chemotherapy is generally given for 90 minutes to kill any remaining cancer cells after cytoreductive surgery. Then, the solution is removed from the abdomen and the incision is closed.
Advantages of HIPEC
Unlike traditional chemotherapy, which circulates throughout the body, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen. This allows for a more concentrated dose of chemotherapy exactly where it’s needed, and may avoid some of the side effects that patients suffer from oral or intravenous chemotherapy.