Hyperthermic Intra Peritoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) delivers heated chemotherapy at a temperature of 41-43 C (105-109 F) to the abdominal contents for 90 minutes. Prior to the treatment it is necessary to surgically excise all visible tumor to a minimum size of 3mm.
Combination of treatments
Since with HIPEC adhesions are divided at the time of surgery there is theoretically an improved distribution of drug through the abdominal cavity.
The combination of chemotherapy with heat is thought to work because the heat encourages greater uptake of the agent into tumor cells and the combination may reverse chemotherapy resistance.
In addition, heat itself at the temperatures used, 41-43 C, (105-109 F) has been shown to be tumoricidal.
The heated chemotherapy treatment itself is well tolerated. It is necessary to ensure a good urine output during and following the surgery and there may be a slightly increased risk of complications following bowel surgery.