Background: The current treatment of ovarian cancer consists of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and systemic chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to examine if hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is an alternative modality to treat this category of patients along with a second attempt of surgical resection and second- or third-line systemic chemotherapy afterward.
Methods: In an 8-year period (2006-2013), 120 women with advanced ovarian cancer (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics [FIGO] IIIc and IV) who experienced disease recurrence after initial treatment with conservative or debulking surgery and systemic chemotherapy were randomized into two groups. Group A comprised 60 patients treated with CRS followed by HIPEC and then systemic chemotherapy. Group B comprised 60 patients treated with CRS only and systemic chemotherapy.
Results: The mean survival for group A was 26.7 versus 13.4 months in group B (p < 0.006). Three-year survival was 75 % for group A versus 18 % for group B (p < 0.01). In the HIPEC group, the mean survival was not different between patients with platinum-resistant disease versus platinum-sensitive disease (26.6 vs. 26.8 months). On the other hand, in the non-HIPEC group, there was a statistically significant difference between platinum-sensitive versus platinum-resistant disease (15.2 vs. 10.2 months, p < 0.002). Complete cytoreduction was associated with longer survival. Patients with a peritoneal cancer index score of <15 appeared also to have longer survival.
Conclusions: The use of HIPEC along with the extent of the disease and the extent of cytoreduction play an important role in the survival of patients with recurrence in an initially advanced ovarian cancer.