Cancer Treatment and Research. 2007;134:343-55. [Link]

Alexander HR, Hanna N, Pingpank JF.

Department of Surgery, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Taken together, these reports provide very provocative and encouraging data that have prompted some to conclude that cytoreduction and HIPEC represents a “new standard of care” for patients with MPM [26]. Certainly, for selected patients who have good performance status (low operative risk) and in whom complete or near complete cytoreduction can be achieved, this form of therapy is associated with a very notable overall survival ranging from 67 to 92 months in 2 larger series. Patient selection remains the central criteria for successful outcome. Patients should be carefully evaluated for co-morbid illnesses that would make them an unacceptable operative risk. Subsequently, CT scan and possibly laparoscopy should be performed to assess resectability with the appreciation that patients with suboptimal resection do very poorly. Pre-operative assessment of disease resectability is difficult to ascertain but some useful information can be obtained from a careful review of the CT scan; some investigators have advocated routine laparoscopy. Technically, details of HIPEC vary from center to center to some degree with respect to type of chemotherapy, dose of chemotherapy, duration of HIPEC, degree of hyperthermia, and method of recirculating the chemotherapy using either the open or closed technique. The use of the HIPEC technique, however, is considered the optimal method of ensuring complete distribution of therapeutic agents to the peritoneal cavity. Hyperthermia is routinely used for its synergistic actions with chemotherapy and its direct tumoricidal activity in experimental models. However, the therapeutic contribution of HIPEC above the effects of successful cytoreduction cannot be determined with available data although palliation of ascites is observed with HIPEC even without cytoreduction. There are no data indicating that one intra-operative chemotherapy regimen is superior to any other. The centers that report use of prolonged induction or post-operative intraperitoneal chemotherapy do not appear to have superior outcomes to those centers that use a more simple treatment regimen. Finally, although the intensity of therapy is considerable, once recovered, the patients appear to enjoy a good HRQOL. Although not specific for patients with MPM, 2 reports have convincingly demonstrated that HRQOL is significantly improved after HIPEC.