(August 4, 2015) A study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports that although the use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy (IP)/IV chemotherapy increased significantly at major cancer centers between 2003 and 2012, fewer than 50% of eligible patients received it.
Previous studies have shown that the use of IP chemotherapy significantly improves survival among ovarian cancer patients. As a result, the National Cancer Institute and other organizations strongly suggest that it be used whenever possible. This study, which examines its usage among 823 women treated at National Comprehensive Cancer Network institutions—the biggest cancer centers in the US– shows that despite the survival advantage, less than 50% of patients receive it. Between 2006 and 2012, adoption of IP/IV chemotherapy varied by institution from 4% to 67%, and 43% of patients received modified IP/IV regimens at treatment initiation. IP/IV chemotherapy was associated with significantly improved overall survival at three years (81% vs 71%).
The authors of the study, which include OCRF Scientific Advisory Committee member and grantee Ursula Matulonis, MD, suggest that increasing IP/IV chemotherapy use in clinical practice may be an important and underused strategy to improve ovarian cancer outcomes.