Does early post-operative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (EPIC) for patients treated with cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) make a difference?

Int J Hyperthermia. 2016 May;32(3):281-8. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2015.1135485. Epub 2016 Feb 10.


Introduction: Peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) is increasingly being treated with cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), with or without early post-operative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (EPIC). We compared the morbidities, overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) between two groups of patients who underwent CRS and HIPEC alone and with EPIC at our institution.

Methods: A retrospective review of 111 patients with PC who were treated with CRS + HIPEC or CRS + HIPEC + EPIC in a single institution between January 2008 and April 2014 was performed. EPIC with 5-fluorouracil or paclitaxel was utilised, depending on the primary tumour.

Results: Patients who received EPIC had a higher proportion of grade III and above post- operative complications (58% versus 25%; p = 0.048) and a longer duration of hospitalisation (16 days versus 13 days; p = 0.019) than patients without EPIC. There were no significant OS and DFS differences between the EPIC and no EPIC groups (log-rank p = 0.231 and p = 0.144, respectively).

Conclusion: The use of EPIC after CRS + HIPEC for PC potentially results in increased morbidity and longer hospitalisation, and is unlikely to affect survival outcomes. Based on our experience, EPIC is not recommended after CRS and HIPEC.

Keywords: Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC); early post-operative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (EPIC); peritoneal carcinomatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chemotherapy, Cancer, Regional Perfusion*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Paclitaxel
  • Fluorouracil