Mesothelioma Researchers View NIPEC Treatment with Optimism

Though malignant mesothelioma most frequently develops in the pleural cavity, approximately 15% of victims are diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. The tumors, which appear in the abdominal cavity, are generally treated with a combination of cytoreductive surgery followed by the site being bathed in heated chemotherapy solution. In recent years a new treatment called NIPEC, or normothermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, has been introduced and is being investigated. A recent study revealed that its use yields significantly better outcomes. 


Famed Mesothelioma Physician Explores NIPEC Outcomes

Dr. Paul Sugarbaker is one of the country’s most noted physicians treating patients with malignant mesothelioma. He is head of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program at Washington Cancer Institute, where he has been exploring the use of NIPEC in combination with cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).

The CRS/HIPEC treatment has become common in treating malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in the last several years and has delivered significantly longer survival times. It also provides better quality of life than traditional chemotherapy, which is administered systemically and leads to uncomfortable and debilitating side effects.  NIPEC is being investigated to see whether it further improves results for patients. When it is used, chemotherapy is delivered via an abdominal catheter that is inserted during surgery and that remains in place. Rather than being heated it is kept at room temperature, and rather than being poured into a surgical site one time it is generally delivered in six rounds at monthly intervals.

Expanded Mesothelioma Study Drives Enthusiasm

While Dr. Sugarbaker’s first study of NIPEC involved just six patients, the more recent exploration involved 74 patients and compared those who had undergone CRS/HIPEC alone with those who had the additional NIPEC treatment. The researchers found that survival was significantly different and that “the addition of NIPEC was associated with long-term survival.”

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, cutting-edge treatment can make a significant difference in your quality of life. For information on accessing care, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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