Background: Peritoneal carcinomatosis is an advanced form of cancer with poor prognosis that in the past was treated mainly palliatively. Today, the definitive approach to peritoneal surface malignancy involves peritonectomy, visceral resection and perioperative intra-abdominal hyperthermic chemotherapy. The anticipated results range from at least palliative to as far as intent to cure. Proper patient selection is mandatory.
Objectives: To determine whether cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy can extend survival, and with minor complications only, in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis.
Methods: Twenty-two IPHP procedures were performed in 17 patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis in our institution between 1998 and 2007: 6 had pseudomyxoma peritonei, 5 had colorectal carcinoma, 3 had ovarian cancer and 3 had mesotheliomas. All patients underwent cytoreductive surgery, leaving only residual metastasis < 1 cm in size. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy was administered through four large catheters (2F) using a closed system of two pumps, a heat exchanger and two filters. After the patient's abdominal temperature reached 41 degrees C, 30-60 mg mitomycin C was circulated intraperitoneally for 1 hour.
Results: The patients had a variety of anastomoses. None demonstrated anastomotic leak and none experienced major complications. Six patients had minor complications (pleural effusion, leukopenia, fever, prolonged paralytic ileus, sepsis), two of which may be attributed to chemotherapy toxicity (leukopenia). There was no perioperative mortality. Some patients have survived more than 5 years.
Conclusions: IPHP is a safe treatment modality for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. It has an acceptable complications rate and ensures a marked improvement in survival and in the quality of life in selected patients.