The peritoneal cavity must be oncologically considered as an organ in its own right and peritoneal metastases (PM) must be treated with the same curative intent (and the same results) as liver metastases. The package combining complete cytoreductive surgery (CCRS) (treating the visible disease) plus hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) (treating the remaining non-visible disease) achieves cure in many patients. Twenty years of publication allow us to assemble sufficient background information and data to point out the good and poor indications for CCRS+HIPEC. HIPEC is the standard of care for the treatment of peritoneal pseudomyxomas and peritoneal mesotheliomas and also, recently for the treatment of colorectal PM with limited peritoneal extension. HIPEC is in the evaluation phase for gastric PM and ovarian PM after initially disappointing results, but it is highly probable that it will be useful in particular settings. PM from neuroendocrine tumours are in the same situation. HIPEC is not currently indicated for the treatment of PM from sarcomas, from GIST, and for small round-cell desmoplastic tumours, given the poor results obtained. HIPEC can be useful, on a case-by-case basis, to treat rare tumours complicated by isolated peritoneal diffusion (e.g. Frantz's tumours). HIPEC can be used in the prophylactic setting to prevent PM in patients with a high risk of developing PM, and the first results of the 'second-look' approach are promising. Finally, CCRS+HIPEC appear to be indispensable tools in the oncologist's armentarium.
Keywords: CCRS; Cytoreductive surgery; HIPEC; Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy; Mesothelioma; PM; Peritoneal carcinomatosis; Peritoneal metastases; Pseudomyxoma; complete cytoreductive surgery; hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy; peritoneal metastases.
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