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HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy)

Peritoneal carcinosis can be part of the spread pattern of different types of cancer. Secondary tumors (metastases) of the malignant tumor (carcinoma) form in the abdominal membrane (peritoneum), a thin skin that covers the inner abdominal wall and most organs in the abdominal cavity, resulting in peritoneal carcinomatosis.

In many cases we can offer a multimodal treatment approach in interdisciplinary consensus. Some prerequisites on both sides must be met. First, this offer in our clinic is only possible through close cooperation with the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center and all other high performance departments involved in the treatment (radiology, pathology, anesthesia, intensive care, laboratory, and transfusion medicine). Second, the patients must be carefully selected for this specialized treatment. In general, the treatment is administered to patients with colorectal cancer (colon cancer), stomach cancer, cancer of the appendix (appendix carcinoma), and the tumor entity of pseudomyxoma peritonei.

During the surgery the cancerous portions of the peritoneum are removed first. It is often necessary to also remove organ portions covered by the affected peritoneum (e.g., parts of the large intestine, stomach, or spleen). Toward the end of the operation, drainage tubes are placed into the abdominal cavity. Via these tubes and with the help of a special pump heated chemotherapy occurs directly in the abdomen (HIPEC: hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy). The temperature of the solution used is 42°; depending on the type of cancer, the lavage is carried out with different chemotherapeutics for 30-60 minutes.

Even though many side effects of conventional chemotherapy administered as an infusion (hair loss, mucous membrane problems, diarrhea) do not occur because the treatment takes place locally and the chemotherapeutics do not circulate through the entire body, this treatment is still strenuous overall. Detailed preliminary examinations and detailed consultations between doctor and patient are essential.

After surgery, the patient remains in intensive care for approximately 24 hours. This is followed by a stay of 2-3 weeks in the general ward.

Depending on the pathological examination and the surgery results achieved, additional systemic chemotherapy is necessary in some cases. Therefore, we discuss each patient’s case in one of our oncology conferences with oncology, radiation therapy, radiology and pathology specialists.

Please direct your treatment request to the International Office of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

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