Treatment of Peritoneal carcinomatosis from colonic cancer by cytoreduction, peritonectomy and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Experience of ten years

Marco Vaira, Tommaso Cioppa, Silvia D'Amico, Giovanni De Marco, Michelina D'Alessandro, Giammaria Fiorentini, Michele De Simone

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Introduction: Peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) is one of the routes of dissemination of abdominal neoplasms and is generally considered a lethal disease, with a poor prognosis by conventional chemotherapeutic treatments. While systemic chemotherapy has little impact on the treatment of peritoneal disease, some centers have reported encouraging results with cytoreduction and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). This approach is based on surgical cytoreduction of the primary tumour, peritonectomy (stripping of implants on the peritoneal surface) and HIPEC. The rationale of this treatment, after macroscopic disease removal, is to obtain an elevated and persistent drug concentration in the peritoneal cavity, with limited systemic effects. Many studies have reported encouraging results on overall survival (OS) and the diseasefree interval in patients affected by PC. Patients and Methods: From October 1997 to November 2008, 411 operations for PC were performed in our institution; in 232 cases, cytoreduction plus HIPEC was carried out. Out of 72 operations for colonic cancer: 40 cytoreductions plus HIPEC, 12 cytoreductions+ EPIC (early postoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy) and 16 debulking or explorative laparoscopies/laparotomies were performed. For the present study, the 40 patients who had undergone cytoreduction plus HIPEC for PC of colorectal cancer (CRC) were considered. Results: The complication rate was 55% (22/40) and mortality rate 25% (1/40). The specific features of both groups were considered for the survival curves and complication rates, with special reference to the peritoneal carcinomatosis index (PCI; range 0, absence of disease to 39) and completeness of cytoreduction score (CCR; 0, no residual tumor, to CCR 3, residual nodules greater than 25 mm). In Group A, patients operated on prior to 2002, the median survival time was 16.7 months compared to 24.6 months for Group B, those operated on after 2002. The poor survival of Group A seemed to be related to higher PCI and CCR scores. Conclusion: Correct patient selection based on a maximum PCI of 16, associated with complete cytoreduction (CCR-0), produced encouraging results in our experience. To improve this encouraging survival outcome, it is very important to unify the surgical experience of expertise centres. Our results also suggest the need for an integrated approach to this condition to identify the correct aspect of the surgical domain and results that may be influencing the prognosis and the evolution of this patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalIn Vivo
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Cytoreductive surgery
  • Peritoneal carcinomatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology


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