Peritoneal carcinomatosis of colorectal cancer: incidence, prognosis, and treatment modalities

Int J Colorectal Dis. 2004 May;19(3):181-7. doi: 10.1007/s00384-003-0524-x. Epub 2003 Aug 29.


Background and aims: Intraperitoneal carcinomatosis accounts for 25-35% of recurrences of colorectal cancer. Studies demonstrate that peritoneal carcinomatosis is not necessarily a terminal condition with no options for treatment or cure.

Results: The combination of aggressive cytoreductive surgery and intra-abdominal hyperthermia chemotherapy improves long-term overall survival in selected patients but is a time-consuming procedure (approx. 12 h) and entails high mortality (5%) and morbidity (35%)). Most commonly used drugs are mitomycin C and platinum compounds, which have synergistic toxic effects on tumor cells when hyperthermia is applied.

Conclusion: Since combined treatment seems promising only in peritoneal carcinomatosis stages I and II, the precondition for a reasonable combined treatment is careful staging. The mode of chemotherapy, the kind of drugs used for chemoperfusion, the timing of surgery, and the role of additional systemic chemotherapy must be evaluated in randomized studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / secondary*
  • Carcinoma / therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors