Ovarian cancer: heat increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy and improves the survival of patients

A new trial shows that combining intraperitoneal chemotherapy with a standard combination of surgery and chemotherapy improves the chances of survival in people with advanced ovarian cancer.

Women with advanced stage III ovarian cancer usually benefit from cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy injected intravenously. Cytoreduction surgery involves reducing the volume of a tumor.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers tested the value of intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy (CHIP) to this standard treatment. And the results are positive.

What is hyperthermal intraperitoneal chemotherapy?

CHIP combines chemotherapy and surgery. Once the surgeon has removed all visible tumors, the chemotherapy drugs are diluted in liquid and heated at 42 ° C for one hour.
Then, the chemotherapy is introduced into the intraperitoneal cavity for about ten minutes, where it will be in contact with the ovaries and their location, before being sucked by a pump.
Why heat the treatment? Because it increases its effects on cancerous tissues.

More chances of survival

245 patients participated in the study and all had conventional treatment combining surgery and venous chemotherapy. 123 of them did not receive intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy in addition to standard therapy. Result: recurrences or deaths occurred in 110 of them. In those who received hyperthermic chemotherapy intraperitoneally, 99 cases of recurrence or death (out of 122) were observed. There is a reduction in mortality of one third with a follow-up of 4.7 years.

In women with advanced ovarian cancer, combining cytoreduction surgery with intraperitoneal hyperthermal chemotherapy would increase the chances of survival and reduce recurrence without any increase in side effects.

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