Should the treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis by cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy still be regarded as a highly morbid procedure?: a systematic review of morbidity and mortality

Ann Surg. 2009 Jun;249(6):900-7. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181a45d86.


Background: : Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has been offered in many institutions worldwide since the 1990s. Despite its existence of more than 10 years, this treatment has received heavy criticism for its morbidity and mortality rates. This consequentially resulted in a lack of randomized trials being conducted and translates into a lack of the most reliable form of scientific evidence in clinical research, hence limiting its general acceptance.

Objective: : To report the morbidity and mortality outcomes of CRS and HIPEC from all institutions performing this treatment as a prelude toward establishing the safety of this treatment for peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Methods: : A systematic review of relevant studies before August 2008 was performed. Each study was appraised using a predetermined protocol. The quality of studies was assessed. The morbidity and mortality of the treatment were synthesized through a narrative review with full tabulation of results of all included studies.

Conclusions: : The morbidity and mortality outcomes of CRS and HIPEC are similar to a major gastrointestinal surgery, such as a Whipple's procedure. To derive the maximal benefit of this treatment, careful patient selection with an optimal level of postoperative care must be advocated to avoid undesirable complications of this treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced* / adverse effects
  • Hyperthermia, Induced* / mortality
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / surgery*


  • Antineoplastic Agents