Aggressive Surgical Management of Peritoneal Carcinomatosis With Low Mortality in a High-Volume Tertiary Cancer Center

Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2007 Dec 12 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Gusani NJ, Cho SW, Colovos C, Seo S, Franko J, Richard SD, Edwards RP, Brown CK, Holtzman MP, Zeh HJ, Bartlett DL.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA,


Background: Cytoreductive surgery (CS) combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) traditionally involves high perioperative morbidity and mortality. We report our experience performing CS-HIPEC in a high-volume regional perfusion program designed to limit morbidity and mortality.

Methods: A total of 122 patients underwent 124 CS-HIPEC procedures. Common tumors treated with CS-HIPEC included appendiceal (38.5%), colorectal (24.6%), and ovarian cancers (13.1%), and peritoneal mesothelioma (12.3%). Complete cytoreduction was performed in all patients, with organ resections performed as necessary.

Results: R0 resection was achieved in 28.7% of cases, R1 in 54.9%, and R2 in 16.4%. Median operative time was 460 minutes (range, 250-840 minutes), and median blood loss was 1150 mL (range, 10-14,000 mL). Median hospital and intensive care unit stays were 12 days (range, 6-50 days) and 3 days (range, 0-41 days), respectively. Grade 3 or 4 morbidity by National Cancer Institute criteria (major morbidity) was seen in 29.8% of cases, with overall morbidity 56.5%. Independent prognostic variables for major morbidity included number of anastomoses and degree of cytoreduction. In-hospital and 30-day mortality rates were 0% and 1.6%, respectively. The most favorable diagnosis was appendiceal cancer, for which 2-year survival was 66.7%, with lower-grade histologic subtypes of appendiceal cancer reaching 85.7% 2-year survival. Colorectal cancer had 2-year survival of 36.7%.

Conclusions: In a high-volume center with extensive experience treating peritoneal malignancies, perioperative mortality can be lowered to nearly zero, although morbidity remains high. CS-HIPEC procedures should be studied further in a controlled manner to help define their important role in the care of patients with PC.