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Second CRS/HIPEC Procedure Found to Provide Significant Benefit

According to a study conducted at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and reported in the Annals of Surgical Oncology, those mesothelioma patients who have undergone a second combination cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy procedure show a significantly better survival rate than those who only undergo the procedure one time.

The study has revealed that for those mesothelioma patients who have the procedure twice, the survival advantage can be as much as three times that of those who did not undergo the second procedure.

One of the researchers involved in the study is enthusiastic but still cautious. Surgical oncologist Sophie Dessureault, M.D. was quoted as saying, “I don’t think you can definitively say it’s the way to go for everyone. The sample was small, and there are many variables, but the study suggests this might be a patient’s best option. It’s definitely something to look at.”

Cytoreductive surgery combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is an extremely aggressive, highly technical procedure that has come into popularity over the last few years as a treatment for mesothelioma. The procedure involves opening the abdomen to expose the peritoneum, surgically debulking as much of the mesothelioma cancer cells from the site as possible, and the following the surgery by administering a heated solution of chemotherapy. It is thought that this direct application of chemotherapy not only is more effective but also eliminates many of the negative side effects that accompany systemic administration of the medication. The chemotherapeutic drug remains in the surgical site for two hours and is then drained before the patient leaves surgery. The procedure is only offered at a few locations, but more and more cancer centers are equipping themselves with the required technology and trained professionals who can perform the surgery.

Comparisons that were conducted at Moffitt Cancer Center indicated that in an eight year period, almost thirty peritoneal mesothelioma patients were treated using the CRS/HIPEC procedure, and of those eight had the procedure a second time when their cancerous tumors returned. Though the average survival rate for the entire group was forty one months, those who had only had the CPS/HIPEC procedure one time had a median survival of just over two years, where those who had the procedure a second time had a median survival of over six years.

The profound difference has many mesothelioma advocates and physicians hopeful, though doctors are quick to remind that only the healthiest patients were involved in the study and more studies need to be done.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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