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UH Case Medical Center Offers New Therapy for Gynecologic Cancer Patients
Date:1/20/2012

d HITEC is performed after minimally invasive lung surgery.

A second study is for advanced ovarian cancer patients in remission who have finished initial therapy of surgery and chemotherapy and then undergo HIPEC to prevent recurrence. A third study will involve patients whose cancer recurs and HIPEC is performed following surgical resection of their disease. A fourth is for patients on a neoadjuvant regimen who have had initial chemotherapy and HIPEC is incorporated into their surgery.

There are several advantages to HIPEC compared to traditional chemotherapy, including improved survival rates for gynecologic cancer patients. Previous studies on the use of chemotherapy given directly into the abdomen, known as intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy, have shown an extension of women's lives with advanced ovarian cancer on average of 1.5 years longer than women receiving intravenous (IV) treatment.

HIPEC allows a much higher dose of chemotherapy to permeate the diseased tissue. Because conventional chemotherapy is usually administered intravenously, it circulates throughout the body and is diluted by the time it reaches the abdomen. 

"Despite the obvious benefits, only a minority of women currently receive IP therapy due to practical difficulties involved in administering chemo directly in the abdomen following surgery," says Dr. DeBernardo. "HIPEC is now viewed as the next logical step in treating gynecologic cancers such as recurrent and new ovarian and certain endometrial cancers."

Additionally, there has been strong research demonstrating that heating the solution (hyperthermia) also enhances the power of the chemotherapy, improving absorption by tumors and susceptibility of cancer cells. Furthermore, because chemotherapy is kept within the abdomen, HIPEC minimizes the rest of the body's exposure to the treatment, which helps reduce some side effects such as hair loss.

In addition to gynecologic cancer patients, the mult
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