Hyperthermic intra peritoneal chemotherapy is a treatment for tumors that have spread into the abdomen. It is not used for tumors outside the abdomen. Hyperthermic Intra Peritoneal Chemotherapy is abbreviated as HIPEC using the initials of its English equivalent. With the help of a machine, heated hot serum (41-42 degrees) and chemotherapy drugs are given into the abdomen. The machine draws the fluid into the abdomen, heats it and returns it back out again, just like a dialysis machine. This cycle takes about 90 minutes. Time and temperature adjustments are made according to the patient’s condition.

What are the benefits?

Heat has a killing effect on cancer cells. When medication is given into the abdomen, a much higher concentration (intensity) of the drug is given than through the blood. The effect of the high concentration of the drug is further enhanced by the effect of heat. We can explain this as one plus one equals three. The drug is effective in hard-to-reach areas of the abdomen where blood flow is low. Other organs are not affected because the chemotherapy drug remains at low levels in the blood.

Who is it applied to?

Ovarian cancer patients can undergo HIPEC. There are clinics that apply it during the first surgery. The scientific evidence we have is that it is effective during the surgery of patients who have received chemotherapy before surgery. The other application group is patients who have undergone surgery and benefited from the chemotherapy they received afterwards, but whose disease recurred in the following period. During the second surgery of these patients, they benefit from hot chemotherapy after the tumor is removed.

HIPEC can also be used in other patient groups. Patient-specific decisions should be made.

How is it applied?

It is applied with drains placed in the abdomen while the patient is asleep during surgery. The procedure is finished when the patient wakes up.

Its use has increased in appropriate patients, especially in ovarian and peritoneal cancer. The life expectancy of patients is prolonged.