Palliative Management of Peritoneal Metastases

Ann Surg Oncol. 2018 Aug;25(8):2165-2171. doi: 10.1245/s10434-018-6335-7. Epub 2018 Jan 30.


Despite significant recent advances in the management of peritoneal carcinomatosis, this diagnosis still is accompanied frequently by a grim survival prognosis, often measured in weeks to months. The poor prognosis also is accompanied often by complications and symptoms that have a dramatic impact on quality of life and are challenging to the managing health care provider and devastating to loved ones caring for the person who is suffering. Consequently, management of carcinomatosis often revolves around palliation of symptoms such as bowel obstruction, nausea, pain, fatigue, and cachexia as well as emotional and existential concerns. This article reviews several palliative treatment options for some of the more common symptoms and complications associated with advanced, incurable peritoneal carcinomatosis. Although readers should recognize that carcinomatosis is no longer an imminent death sentence, providers caring for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis also must be well-versed in the palliative management of this condition and recognize the utility of early palliative care referral in this setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemotherapy, Cancer, Regional Perfusion / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods
  • Palliative Care*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Survival Rate