Quality of life in patients after cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy: is it worth the risk?

Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Jan;20(1):226-32. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2579-9. Epub 2012 Aug 7.


Objective: To investigate the course of health-related quality of life (HQL) over time in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) after complete cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Methods: Prospective, single-center, nonrandomized cohort study using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire.

Results: Ninety patients who underwent CRS and HIPEC for PC in our institution were enrolled in the study. Mean age was 56 years (range 27-77 years) (61% female). Primary tumor was colorectal in 21%, ovarian in 19%, pseudomyxoma peritonei in 16%, an appendix tumor in 16%, gastric cancer in 10%, and peritoneal mesothelioma in 13% of cases. Mean peritoneal carcinomatosis index was 22 (range 2-39). Mean global health status score was 69±25 preoperatively and 55±20, 66±22, 66±23, 71±23, and 78±21 at months 1, 6, 12, 24, and 36, respectively. Physical and role function recovered significantly at 6 months and were close to baseline at the 24-month measurement. Emotional function starting from a low baseline recovered to baseline by month 12. Cognitive and social function had slow recovery on follow-up. Fatigue, diarrhea, dyspnea, and sleep disturbance were symptoms persistent at 6-month follow-up, improving later on in survivors.

Conclusions: Survivors after CRS and HIPEC have postoperative quality of life similar to preoperatively, with most of the reduced elements recovering after 6-12 months. We conclude that reduced quality of life of patients after CRS and HIPEC should not be used as an argument to deny surgical therapy to these patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma / secondary
  • Carcinoma / surgery
  • Carcinoma / therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Combined Modality Therapy / adverse effects
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyssomnias / etiology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / surgery
  • Mesothelioma / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pseudomyxoma Peritonei / surgery
  • Pseudomyxoma Peritonei / therapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents