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UH Case Medical Center offers new therapy for gynecologic cancer patients
Date:1/20/2012

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 multidisciplinary HIPEC team, comprised of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, intensivists, chemotherapy nurses and perfusionists at UH Case Medical Center, is offering the procedure to patients with gastrointestinal cancers and mesothelioma.

"We believe this procedure can improve the odds for our patients and are eager to launch this series of clinical trials to further validate HIPEC's use in our patients," says Dr. DeBernardo. "In our battle against cancer, we keep developing no
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Contact: Alicia Reale
alicia.reale@uhhospitals.org
216-844-5158
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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