Learning curve for cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in peritoneal surface malignancies: analysis of two centres

J Surg Oncol. 2013 Mar;107(4):312-9. doi: 10.1002/jso.23231. Epub 2012 Aug 23.


Background: We assessed the learning curve (LC) of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in treating peritoneal surface malignancies (PSM) in two centers and evaluated in which extent surgical tutoring could abbreviate the learning process.

Methods: Six hundred and forty-one cases submitted to CRS using peritonectomy procedures and HIPEC were considered. After having overcome its own LC, the NCI of Milan has provided technical assistance to Bentivoglio's centre for the development of a new PSM program since 2003. The risk-adjusted sequential probability ratio test (RA-SPRT) was employed to assess the LC of the two centers. Outcomes were incomplete cytoreduction, G3-5 morbidity (NCI-CTCAE.v3) and procedure-related mortality (PRM).

Results: Rates of incomplete cytoreduction, G3-5 morbidity, and PRM were 8.4%, 30.1%, and 3.9%, respectively, in the entire series. The breaking points of the LC concerning incomplete cytoreduction, G3-5 morbidity, and PRM were achieved at 141, 158, and 144 cases, in the Milan's experience, and at 126, 134, and 60 cases in the Bentivoglio's experience.

Conclusions: Surgical tutoring could substantially shorten the steep LC associated with CRS and HIPEC. Our data should be confirmed by further studies on LC focusing oncological outcomes. Other factors that could influence the length of learning process should be identified.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / methods
  • Chemotherapy, Cancer, Regional Perfusion / education*
  • Chemotherapy, Cancer, Regional Perfusion / methods
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Italy
  • Learning Curve*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mentors*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm, Residual / drug therapy*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States