A critical appraisal of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in the treatment of advanced and recurrent ovarian cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2015 Jan;136(1):130-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.11.072. Epub 2014 Nov 28.


Objective: Our objective was to review the published experiences of the use of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in the treatment of advanced and recurrent ovarian cancer with a focus on survival outcomes.

Methods: A search of the PubMed database (2008-2014) for articles specifically addressing the topic "HIPEC and ovarian cancer" was performed. We found a total of 22 publications that included 1450 patients. A final group of eleven studies (248 patients with advanced ovarian cancer) and eight publications (499 patients with recurrent sensitive ovarian cancer) that included information about survival were reviewed.

Results: Among patients with primary ovarian cancer who were treated with primary debulking and HIPEC, the weighted median overall survival was 37.3 months (range 27-78), the median disease-free survival was 14.4 months (range 12-30), and the 5-yr-survival rate was 40% (range 28-72). In the recurrent cohort, the overall survival after HIPEC was 36.5 months (range 23-62), and the median disease-free survival was 20.2 months (range 11-29). The rates of severe morbidity were 25 and 19% in the primary and recurrent groups, respectively.

Conclusion: Although randomized trials are ongoing, the recently published retrospective data regarding the use of HIPEC for primary advanced and for recurrent ovarian cancer do not indicate any apparent advantage of this treatment in terms of the survival outcomes in these patients. Therefore, HIPEC cannot be considered a standard treatment and should not be offered outside of clinical trials.

Keywords: Cytoreduction; HIPEC; Ovarian cancer; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Infusions, Parenteral / methods
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Antineoplastic Agents