Updated treatment of peritoneal carcinomas: a review

Minerva Chirurgica. 2007 Dec;62(6):459-476. [Link]

Deraco M, Laterza B, Kusamura S, Baratti D.

Dipartimento di Chirurgia, Unità Tumori Peritoneali, Fondazione IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano marcello.deraco@istitutotumori.mi.it.


Peritoneal surface malignancy (PSM) is a clinical entity with an unfavourable prognosis, which characterizes the evolution of neoplastic diseases from the abdominal and/or pelvic organs and could also be the terminal stage of extra-abdominal tumors. Examples of diseases that can spread mainly within the peritoneal cavity are appendiceal tumors, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, abdominal sarcomatosis, gastric cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma.

The locoregional therapy is defined as the combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and intraperitoneal hyperthermic perfusion (IPHP). The rationale of this combined therapy for PSM is based on the natural history of this clinical entity that remains confined in the peritoneal cavity for most of its natural history. This pattern of spread would seem to indicate the potential usefulness of selectively increasing drug concentration in the tumour-bearing area by direct intraperitoneal chemotherapy instillation.

This approach led to these outcomes: the median survival
of colorectal carcinoma and ovarian cancer was 32 months; patients with peritoneal mesothelioma showed 57% survival at 5 years, while in patients with appendiceal mucinous tumors and pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) the 10 years overall survival was 78%. A significant improvement in survival was associated with hyperthermic intra-peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in patients with gastric cancer.

Considering the constant increasing of diseases treatable with this procedure, more centres should be activated. The establishment of a clear policy and scientific guidelines is mandatory, in order to perform the CRS+HIPEC safely, minimizing treatment-related morbidity and mortality and maximizing the results in terms of survival and quality of life.