Directly delivering chemotherapy to the area affected by cancer concentrates the drug in the area where its killing effects will be more beneficial, which can make it more effective. Increasing the temperature of the chemotherapy has been shown to make it easier for the drug to penetrate the lining of the abdomen, and the heat makes cancer cells more susceptible to damage. Additionally, targeted delivery can decrease some of the toxic side effects associated with standard treatment, which spreads the chemotherapy throughout the entire body. However, intraperitoneal chemotherapy is not widely accep
Results from a recent phase 3 clinical trial show that a specialized type of chemotherapy delivery may delay disease recurrence in newly diagnosed, advanced ovarian cancer patients. The specialized technique, called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), involves warming the chemotherapy to temperatures greater than 42.0°C (107.6°F) and circulating it through the abdominal cavity directly after surgery. In this multi-center randomized clinical trial (NCT00426257), physicians compared outcomes for patients who received HIPEC after tumor-debulking surgery to patients who had surgery alone. The study, "Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in Ovarian Cancer," was published in New England Journal of Medicine.