Is HIPEC Treatment Effective for Mesothelioma Patients?

HIPEC, commonly known as hyperthermic or heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy is the procedure of heating  chemotherapy drugs and supplying them into the abdominal cavity.

Often times, HIPEC treatment is combined with cytoreductive surgery.

So, whether it is an effective approach to cure peritoneal mesothelioma? The same we will discuss in this post.

HIPEC and Cytoreductive surgery is an effective treatment plan that has drastically enhanced survival rate for patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma. While the average rate of survival was around 6 months before the introduction of this therapy, now, patients can live longer than 6 years after successful HIPEC surgery.

The process for HIPEC was introduced to boost poor results of conventional chemotherapy treatment. Though a large number of people respond well to chemotherapy drugs, most of them live only for a short time period.

Overview of HIPEC Surgery with Cytoreductive Surgery

The HIPEC surgery process may vary slightly depending on the treatment center and doctor. However, the general procedure is the same.

This process is performed in two phases:

  • Cytoreductive Surgery
  • Heated Chemotherapy

Phase 1 – Cytoreductive Surgery

The doctors first perform cytoreductive surgery for improving the tumor growth to as much extent as possible from the abdominal cavity.

Without the surgical process, HIPEC approach may fail to deliver effective results. It is because chemo drugs are unable to penetrate deep into harmful tumors.

In some situations, it is impossible to completely remove the tumor. In this case, patients have to undertake other options available to them.

Phase 2 – Heated Chemotherapy

Immediately after the surgery, patients are offered with heated chemotherapy process to prevent recurrence of cancer and to increase survival extend.

Usually, chemotherapy drugs include cisplatin, gemcitabine, carboplatin, pemetrexed, and others. Rather than injecting drugs into the blood, the doctors supply them directly to the abdomen or chest.

Benefits of HIPEC Surgery for Mesothelioma Patients

  • Better or improved rate of survival in comparison to any other treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Lesser side-effects in comparison to conventional chemotherapy
  • In-depth and local application. This means more numbers of cancerous cells than healthy cells are exposed directly to the drugs.
  • Better and safer delivery of higher drugs as compared to systemic chemotherapy.

Side-Effects of HIPEC Surgery for Mesothelioma Patients

  • Wound infections
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Infections in the urinary tract
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis
  • Fistula
  • Myelosuppression
  • Reduced appetite

Which Patients Qualify for the HIPEC Treatment?

An important thing to note is that not all patients qualify for this treatment.

In the case of peritoneal mesothelioma, patients must meet the following conditions:

  • They must be healthy enough for the surgery.
  • They must not suffer from any heart ailment or a severe chronic condition.
  • They must possess a low score for peritoneal cancer index. This index measures tumor spread and growth.
  • They must not have any partial or bowel obstruction.
  • They must possess an epithelial type of cell or other cell types.

Doctors always suggest HIPEC treatment to patients who are suffering from no other ailment expect cancer. Adequate assessments are first conducted in order to determine the overall health condition of a patient and to know about their exact performance status.

Studies Show the Survival Improvement by HIPEC Surgery

A lot of studies reveal HIPEC surgery drastically improved the life expectancy in more than half of patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma.

  • A study by Dr. Paul Sugarbaker

This study was conducted in 2018. The doctor confirmed HIPEC as one of the finest approaches for peritoneal mesothelioma.

The study used HIPEC and cytoreductive surgery together to cure peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients were offered one or two additional kinds of chemotherapy. Some were offered EPIC while others were offered NIPEC.

Around 52% of patients were able to live for more than a period of 5 years.

  • A study by the Washington Cancer Institute

The Washington Cancer Institute’s researchers conducted a study in 2015. It published results on survival rates of using HIPEC surgery a second time for curing recurrence.

The survival rate after second HIPEC surgery increased from 4.5 years to 6.4 years.

Which Treatment Center Offer the HIPEC Process?

HIPEC is not provided as a standard treatment option for mesothelioma cancer because it involves lots of complexities with cytoreductive surgery.

But our doctors are experienced and experts in this treatment. We have already offered a large number of people successful HIPEC treatments.

Contact us, if you are looking out for the same.

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