Peritoneal carcinomatosis is a common manifestation of digestive-tract cancer and has been regarded a terminal disease with a short median survival. Over the past decade, a new locoregional therapeutic approach combining cytoreductive surgery with intraperitoneal chemohyperthermia (IPCH) has evolved. Because of its limited benefits, high morbidity and mortality, and high cost, this comprehensive management plan requires accurate patient selection. Quantitative prognostic indicators are needed to assess a patient's eligibility for combined treatment, including tumour histopathology, classification of carcinomatosis extent, assessment of completeness of cytoreduction, and determination of the extent of previous surgery. Patients with pseudomyxoma peritonei and those with peritoneal dissemination of digestive-tract cancer have shown promising survival. Complete cytoreduction with no visible disease persisting is a requirement for long-term benefit. In Japan and Korea, use of IPCH as prophylactic treatment in potentially curative gastric-cancer resection has shown improved survival and lower peritoneal recurrence rates. IPCH combined with cytoreductive surgery seems to be an effective therapeutic approach in carefully selected patients, and offers a chance for cure or palliation in this condition with few alternative treatment options.