The introduction of heated intraoperative chemotherapy (HIPEC) following surgical resection of malignant mesothelioma tumors has proven to be a tremendous breakthrough for mesothelioma patients, providing them with a better prognosis and improved quality of life. Now a study conducted by an esteemed mesothelioma researcher has determined that the positive effects can be further extended through repeated chemotherapy rinses administered through a catheter.
Direct contact with chemotherapy kills more mesothelioma cells
Peritoneal mesothelioma patients have seen their survival time extended through the use of HIPEC, though the malignant tumors eventually return. But Dr. Paul Sugarbaker of MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC has concluded that those survival times can be extended even further by providing patients with chemotherapy rinses on a regular basis. Where the initial HIPEC is poured directly into the still-open surgical site, later rinses can be administered through a catheter, without the need for the solution to be heated.
HIPEC’s benefits are derived from the fact that the chemotherapy solution comes into direct contact with the mesothelioma cells rather than being circulated through the bloodstream. This process not only eliminates some of the typical adverse effects that are seen in traditional chemotherapy use, but also seems to kill more cells and extend survival. Since its introduction, HIPEC has generally only been provided once, but Sugarbaker’s study shows that repeated doses can extend the effect.
NIPEC-LT represents the next stage of chemotherapy delivery
The new method of delivering chemotherapy to mesothelioma patients is called normothermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy long term. Normothermic means that it is unheated, and long term indicates that it can be provided repeatedly, for as long as it continues to extend patient survival and improve quality of life. Dr. Sugarbaker’s study looked at three groups of mesothelioma patients who had surgery to remove mesothelioma tumors. Two of the groups had either HIPEC or HIPEC plus an additional dose of intraperitoneal chemotherapy shortly after surgery, while the third group got HIPEC, the additional dose, and six months of NIPEC through a catheter that had been inserted into their abdomens during surgery.
The three groups of mesothelioma patients were followed over a twenty-year period. While the group that got HIPEC plus the additional intraperitoneal chemotherapy showed no appreciable difference in survival time, the group that also received NIPEC demonstrated a significant increase in survival. Writing in the journal Translational Lung Cancer Research, Dr. Sugarbaker stated,“The aggressive surgical approach plus regional chemotherapy has increased the median survival to more than 5 years. With NIPEC-LT added on, 70% 5-year survival has been reported.”
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and need more information on innovative treatments, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608 today.