Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

In The News

Watch Thomas Miner, MD, discuss the use of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy to treat a patient’s ovarian cancer.

Watch the video on WJAR-TV

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is an innovative surgical technique used to treat primary and metastatic cancers of the abdominal area, including certain gynecologic cancers, such as ovarian cancers. It uses highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy delivered directly into the abdomen during surgery.

After surgically removing tumors, the heated chemotherapy bath is circulated through the abdominal area. HIPEC delivers the chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen, allowing for higher doses of chemotherapy to be used and enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment as it is better absorbed by tumors and microscopic cancer cells that remain in the abdomen.

Studies have shown that treatment with HIPEC can significantly extend survival for patients diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Learn more about this research.

How Does HIPEC Work?

Before a patient receives HIPEC treatment, a doctor will perform surgery to remove all visible tumors within the abdominal area. Once these tumors are removed, the surgeon will make two small incisions and insert tubes – one to pump the heated chemotherapy solution into the abdomen and one to circulate the solution back out. The sterilized, 108-degree chemotherapy solution is then delivered to the abdomen and circulated throughout the area for 90 minutes. The solution is then drained out, the abdomen is rinsed, and the incisions are closed.

What Are the Benefits of HIPEC?

Some of the benefits of HIPEC treatment include:

  • Greater overall effectiveness in killing cancer cells and tumors
  • Heating the chemotherapy allows for deeper penetration and better absorption of the medicine
  • Fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy
  • Reduces the rest of the body’s exposure to chemotherapy, as it is delivered directly to the abdomen
  • Higher, more concentrated doses of chemotherapy can be used

What Does HIPEC Treat?

HIPEC can be used to treat a range of cancers in or around the abdominal area including:

The Lifespan Cancer Institute offers HIPEC treatment as part of a coordinated care program for gynecologic and other cancers.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 1-844-222-2881.

Learn more about the Center for Gynecologic Cancers at Lifespan Women's Medicine Collaborative