The study was designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of IP cisplatin [CDDP] combined with intravenous thiosulphate and concurrent whole abdomen hyperthermia for advanced, recurrent or progressive ovarian carcinoma. Between September 1991 and November 1998, 41 patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer received escalating doses of IP (IP) cisplatin (six cycles given every 3-4 weeks) and whole abdomen hyperthermia with intravenous thiosulphate as second line treatment. Whole abdomen hyperthermia was administrated using a BSD-2000 annular phased array system. Forty-one patients were enrolled in the phase I/II portions of the study. Forty-four per cent (18/41) had undergone sub-optimal cytoreductive surgery and 15% (6/41) had been optimally debulked of their disease. Ninety per cent (37/41) had platinum-resistant disease and 10% (4/41) had platinum-sensitive disease. No DLTs occurred in the phase I testing and the recommended dose for this combination schedule was 180 mg m-2 of IP cisplatin with thiosulphate and whole abdomen hyperthermia. The overall response rate was 44% (10 CR, 8 PR) and the median survival for all patients from protocol entry was 30 months (range 2-107 months). Median duration and survival of those achieving a pathologic CR was 14 months (range 2-27 months) and 35 months (range 14-71 months, 95% CI 16-54 months), respectively. Salvage platinum based IP cisplatin with hyperthermia did achieve pathologic CR in selected patients and was well tolerated. These promising results suggest a role for the use of adjuvant whole abdomen hyperthermia as a means of augmenting chemosensitization.