New peritoneal mesothelioma chemotherapy technique shows mixed results

23 Oct 2017 by under Research/Treatment
Peritoneales Mesotheliom CREDITHELLERHOFFWIKI 100x100 New peritoneal mesothelioma chemotherapy technique shows mixed results

Credit: Hellerhoff via Wikipedia

While a new chemotherapy technique for peritoneal patients has shown promising results in patient outcomes, it includes a high risk for complications. Pioneered in Europe, pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC) involves doctors “spraying” a solution of chemotherapy drugs directly onto tumors through small ports in the abdomen, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

The technique aims to uniformly coat tumors and keep drugs in direct contact with the malignant mesothelioma cells located in the lining of the abdomen. In a recent French study, doctors tested PIPAC in 73 patients with inoperable peritoneal mesothelioma tumors, according to the news source. In all, the patients all underwent at least one PIPAC treatment—one had six treatments—for a total of 164 PIPAC procedures.

As a result of the treatment, patients’ peritoneal cancer index improved in 64.5 percent of patients, and 63.5 percent of patients saw “complete disappearance of symptoms,” according to the study. However, “implementing a PIPAC program in association with systemic chemotherapy is…associated with a risk of postoperative morbidity, even in teams highly experienced in PC management and requires a learning curve in patient selection,” the study concludes. In the first 20 patients treated, the mortality rate was 40 percent, and 62 percent of patients experienced major complications. The numbers gradually improved as doctors improved performing the procedure. More than 85 percent of patients in the study were able to undergo systemic chemo, which is either administered intravenously or by mouth, within a few weeks of their PIPAC treatment.

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