Oncology innovation: HIPEC

Beaumont prides itself on having some of the most advanced oncology treatment options in the country so that when a patient comes to one of our hospitals, he or she can expect the highest quality of care. Hyperthermic IntraPeritoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is one of those options.

HIPEC is an innovative method of treating cancers originating in, or spreading to, the abdomen, such as colorectal, ovarian, gastric and peritoneal mesothelioma. It allows the cavity to be bathed in heated chemotherapy after a tumor is removed during surgery, effectively killing remaining cancer cells.

“Typically, cancers in the abdominal cavity are difficult to treat,” said Vandad Raofi, M.D., surgical director, HIPEC program, Beaumont, Royal Oak. “Traditional chemotherapy can control the disease, but is not a cure and ultimately the tumor will progress. The addition of HIPEC to standard chemotherapy prolongs survival and can cure some patients’ cancer.”

HIPEC comes with many advantages, including:

  • Results have shown improved overall patient survival rates and quality of life.
  • It can be more effective than oral or intravenous chemotherapy agents when a tumor resides on the surface of the abdominal wall and organs.
  • It can access hard to reach areas where microscopic cancer cells hide.
  • The heated chemotherapy enhances the ability to penetrate tissues to increase the likelihood of effectively killing cancer cells.
  • HIPEC does not circulate through the bloodstream and therefore does not cause systemic side effects.

After surgery, tiny microscopic cancer cells can be left behind that may not be visible. HIPEC is directly inserted into the abdominal cavity through catheters to target those left-behind cells. The chemotherapy is administered at a specific temperature to kills cancer cells while preserving normal, healthy cells.

“Compared to standard chemo, HIPEC offers about a 17-month survival advantage,” said Dr. Raofi. “Another 10 to 15 percent of patients live longer, cancer free.”

Following the procedure, the average hospital stay is between 10-12 days. After discharge, our team continues to partner with patients to ensure their home care needs are met.

Anyone interested in learning more about HIPEC can contact Dr. Raofi at 248-551-7890. Other information about the treatment can be found on beaumont.org.

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