Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cytoreduction with HIPEC
In 25 to 30 percent of cases, cytoreduction with the addition of the HIPEC technique can send peritoneal mesothelioma into full remission.
Studies have also shown that the median survival time for patients who have undergone cytoreduction with HIPEC is 41 months. This is about three times longer than the average life expectancy of patients who do not undergo cytoreduction with HIPEC.
What is Cytoreduction with HIPEC?
Cytoreductive surgery is a curative surgical procedure performed on peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Its goal is to remove all visible signs of tumors in the peritoneum, the protective lining that covers the abdominal organs. Cytoreduction is an extensive operation only performed by experienced mesothelioma specialists. The operation can take between 10 and 12 hours.
Cytoreduction can combine up to five separate surgical procedures to completely remove the tumors. The total number of procedures performed depends on the individual case and how far the mesothelioma has spread. Each of the five procedures removes the peritoneum from different parts of the abdomen and pelvis. These different parts include the stomach, spleen, liver, ovaries, uterus, large intestine and gallbladder.
Once the cytoreduction is complete, the surgeon uses the HIPEC technique. This technique is done by heating up chemotherapy drugs to around 107 degrees Fahrenheit and applying them directly into the abdomen. The drugs circulate for up to two hours to ensure maximum success. Heating chemotherapy drugs make them more effective at circulating and killing off remaining cancer cells that have strayed from the surgical site.
Goals of Cytoreduction with HIPEC
As with all mesothelioma surgical treatments, the ultimate goal is to help the patient achieve remission. Cytoreduction with HIPEC significantly increases the chance of reaching this goal.
Other goals of cytoreduction with HIPEC surgery depend on the particular patient and their individual case.
Some of the main cytoreduction with HIPEC goals include:
- Remove as much of the tumor as possible
- Stop the disease from spreading
- Slow the disease progression
- Kill microscopic mesothelioma cells
- Alleviate painful symptoms
- Increase life expectancy and improve quality of life
In some cases, peritoneal mesothelioma patients undergo a repeat cycle of HIPEC after the original cytoreduction with HIPEC procedure. The goal with this treatment plan is to further improve survival rate by reducing or preventing recurrence.
Cytoreduction with HIPEC Candidates
Doctors perform cytoreduction with HIPEC as a curative surgery on peritoneal mesothelioma that has not yet spread to other areas. This makes the procedure more likely to be a success in removing all visible parts of the tumor. Cytoreduction is not feasible in patients where the mesothelioma has spread too far.
Instead, doctors will perform cytoreduction with HIPEC surgery on late-stage candidates as a palliative surgery to help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.
As with all surgeries, cytoreduction with HIPEC is only performed on candidates who are in good overall health. Doctors assess patient eligibility on a case-by-case basis and perform a comprehensive evaluation before proceeding with surgery. This ensures that candidates are healthy enough to recover fully from their surgery.
Cytoreduction with HIPEC Recovery
Patient recovery from cytoreduction with HIPEC is intensive. After surgery, the patient must remain in the hospital for up to two weeks. Once patients leave the hospital, it can take up to three more weeks of at-home recovery.
Cytoreduction with HIPEC can be hard on the patient’s digestive system. During their at-home recovery time, patients will require IV’s and nutritional supplements to help them regain strength and improve their overall health.
Talk to your health care team about your eligibility for cytoreduction with HIPEC surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma so you can increase your life expectancy and improve your quality of life.