Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy, a Palliative Treatment Approach for Patients With Peritoneal Carcinomatosis: Description of Method and Systematic Review of Literature

Dis Colon Rectum. 2020 Feb;63(2):242-255. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001565.


Background: Peritoneal metastases arise in patients with a variety of primary cancers, and are associated with a poor prognosis. Systemic chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment; however, the morbidity is considerable and the survival benefit is modest. Cytoreductive surgery and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy is a potentially curative treatment available to a minority of patients; however, most develop recurrent disease. A novel palliative treatment for peritoneal metastases, pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy, has recently been introduced. Pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy utilizes an aerosol of chemotherapy in carbon dioxide gas. It is instilled into the abdomen under pressure via laparoscopic ports. No cytoreduction is performed. Pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy can be repeated at 6-week intervals. Oxaliplatin or cis-platinum and doxorubicin have been used to date.

Objective: This study aims to systematically review and evaluate the method, and the preclinical and early clinical results of pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy.

Data sources: Medline and the Cochrane Library were the data sources for the study.

Study selection: Peer-reviewed series of greater than 10 patients, with sufficient patient data, through April 2019, were selected.

Intervention: Patients with peritoneal metastases underwent pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy.

Main outcome measures: Patient dropout, histologic tumor response, adverse events, and 30-day mortality were the primary outcomes measured.

Results: A total of 921 patients with peritoneal metastases were brought to the operating room for pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy. The number of pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy treatments administered was as follows: 1 treatment, 862 (94%); 2 treatments, 645 (70%); and 3 treatments, 390 patients (42%). Initial laparoscopic access was not possible in 59 patients (6.4%). Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade 3 or higher were noted in 13.7% of the patients who, collectively, underwent a total of 2116 treatments. The 30-day mortality was 2.4% (22/921).

Limitations: This study was limited by the heterogeneity of reported data and primary tumor types and by the lack of long-term survival data.

Conclusions: Early clinical results are encouraging, but tumor-specific, prospective, randomized trials are needed to compare pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy to systemic chemotherapy. This method has yet to be introduced to the United States. It is another therapeutic option for patients with peritoneal metastases and will broaden the patient base for future clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / administration & dosage*
  • Aerosols / adverse effects
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carbon Dioxide / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods
  • Instillation, Drug
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxaliplatin / administration & dosage
  • Oxaliplatin / adverse effects
  • Oxaliplatin / therapeutic use
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Pressure
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aerosols
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cisplatin