Background: Peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) is a common evolution of digestive cancer, associated with a poor prognosis. Yet it is poorly documented in the literature.
Methods: Three hundred seventy patients with PC from non-gynecologic malignancies were followed prospectively: the PC was of gastric origin in 125 cases, of colorectal origin in 118 cases, of pancreatic origin in 58 cases, of unknown origin in 43 cases, and of miscellaneous origins in 26 cases. A previously reported PC staging system was used to classify these 370 patients.
Results: Mean and median overall survival periods were 6.0 and 3.1 months, respectively. Survival rates were mainly affected by the initial PC stage (9.8 months for Stage I with malignant peritoneal granulations less than 5 mm in greatest dimension, versus 3.7 months for Stage IV with large, malignant peritoneal masses more than 2 cm in greatest dimension). The presence of ascites was associated with poor survival of patients with gastric or pancreatic carcinoma. Differentiation of the primary tumor did not influence the prognoses of patients with PC.
Conclusions: A better knowledge of the natural history of PC is needed, in view of the many Phase I, II, and III trials currently being conducted to evaluate aggressive multimodal therapeutic approaches to treating patients with PC from non-gynecologic malignancies.
Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.