A guide to establishing a hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy program in gynecologic oncology

Gynecol Oncol. 2020 Sep;158(3):794-802. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.06.487. Epub 2020 Jul 2.


Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) may be used to treat peritoneal based malignancies, such as epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Despite results of clinical trials supporting an increasing indication for HIPEC in EOC, concerns have existed regarding morbidity and challenges with initiating HIPEC at an institutional level. The objective of this review is to describe evidence-based recommendations to guide implementation of a HIPEC program, following our experience at a high-volume tertiary care center. Establishing a HIPEC program requires building a multi-disciplinary team, including gynecologic oncologists, anesthesia, nursing, perfusionists and pharmacists. Team members require education regarding HIPEC protocols, toxic waste and spill management, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Required equipment includes chemotherapy certified PPE and a HIPEC pump which is connected to inflow and outflow catheters placed within the peritoneal cavity. During the procedure, 3-6 L of a hyperthermic perfusate, composed of a isotonic crystalloid vehicle and the chemotherapy of choice, is infused through the peritoneal cavity with goal temperature of 41-43 °C. Prior to HIPEC infusion, surgical teams must communicate with anesthesia and pharmacy. In patients receiving HIPEC with cisplatin, furosemide and mannitol should be administered one hour prior to chemotherapy to ensure adequate diuresis. Sodium thiosulfate may also be considered for renal protection (van Driel et al., n.d. [3]). We utilize a multi-agent pre-medication protocol prior to HIPEC infusion to reduce hypersensitivity reactions, renal toxicity and post-operative nausea and vomiting. Limited data exists to support the optimal regimen for HIPEC at the time of CRS in women with EOC. From our experience, we favor use of cisplatin 100 mg/m2 alone or in combination with paclitaxel 135-175 mg/m2 with 90 min of total perfusion time. Close attention to temperature and glycemic control is essential during the procedure, as electrolyte derangements including hyperglycemia, lactic acidosis and hypokalemia may occur. Continuous patient monitoring and proactive management of abnormalities that arise during HIPEC is imperative to decrease patient morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: HIPEC; Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / drug therapy
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / surgery
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy / methods*
  • Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy / standards
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Patient Care Team
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic