Hyperthermic intrathoracic extracorporeal chemotherapy for secondary malignant pleural disease

J Surg Oncol. 2023 Sep;128(4):604-611. doi: 10.1002/jso.27389. Epub 2023 Jul 6.


Objectives: Pleural metastasis has extremely poor prognosis. Resection of pleural implants with infusion of intrathoracic hyperthermic chemotherapy may offer a survival advantage in selected patients. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of hyperthermic intrathoracic extracorporeal chemotherapy (HITEC) in patients who underwent pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) for secondary malignant pleural disease (SPD).

Methods: A total of 101 patients were evaluated over 72 months, with 35 patients electing to proceed with P/D and 60 minutes of HITEC with cisplatin at 42°C. Inclusion criteria were adults 18-79 years with unilateral pleural dissemination. Exclusion criteria were patients without control of primary site, extrathoracic metastatic disease, significant comorbidities, and a history of adverse reaction to cisplatin.

Results: Median age was 56 years (36-73); 60% were women. SPD was thymoma in 13, breast cancer in 9, lung cancer in 6, colon cancer in 2, renal cell in 2, and esophageal, anal, and thymic cancers in one each. There was no operative mortality. Postoperative complications occurred in 18 patients (51%). No patient developed renal failure. Median follow-up was 24 months (4-60). The overall survival rate was 61%; 17 patients (49%) developed recurrent disease at a median of 12 months (6-36). There were no recurrences after 36 months Eleven patients (31%) died of metastatic disease at a median of 17 months (7-25).

Conclusions: Surgical cytoreduction of SPD followed by HITEC with cisplatin was well tolerated. No patient developed cisplatin-related toxicities. Long-term follow-up is warranted to determine survival advantage and refinement of inclusion criteria.

Keywords: cisplatin; heated chemotherapy; pleural metastasis; pleurectomy; renal failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cisplatin
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma* / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Diseases*
  • Pleural Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Pleural Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Thymus Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Cisplatin