HIPEC Beneficial in Late Stage Ovarian Cancer

(January 29, 2018) A study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the difference between two treatment strategies for newly diagnosed stage III epithelial ovarian cancer patients, with the goal of identifying the treatment with a higher rate of recurrence free survival. The first treatment option, typical for advanced stage ovarian cancer, included cytoreductive surgery, a procedure that removes the tumor(s). The second treatment option included the cytoreductive surgery and added HIPEC, or hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. This form of chemotherapy is heated, concentrated, and delivered during surgery. During the trial, patients also received carboplatin and paclitaxel after surgery.

Eighty nine percent of the group assigned randomly to surgery without HIPEC had either a recurrence or died, while only eighty one percent of the surgery and HIPEC group had either of those outcomes. The median recurrence free survival in the first group was 10.7 months, while the median for the second group was 14.2 months. Lastly, the median overall survival also showed a difference. The group without HIPEC had an overall survival median of 33.9 months and the group with HIPEC was 45.7 months.

The authors concluded that, for patients with stage III epithelial ovarian cancer, adding HIPEC to cytoreductive surgery was better in terms of recurrence free survival and overall survival.

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