The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital is one of the few medical centers in the United States to offer Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion (HIPEC) for children, adolescents and young adults with certain advanced abdominal tumors.

How Does HIPEC Work?

[MUSIC PLAYING] HIPEC means hope for patients with abdominal cancer. Here's why. HIPEC, hypothermic or heated intraperitoneal chemo perfusion, is an aggressive targeted surgical technique for patients with a variety of abdominal cancers. HIPEC helps with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy, deeper penetration of the medicine, and greater effectiveness in killing cancer cells than conventional chemotherapy. UChicago Medicine is one of the only hospitals to offer the treatment for both children and adults. How does HIPEC work? First, surgeons remove the patients' tumors immediately following surgery. The patient's abdomen is treated with a heated chemotherapy bathe. The chemotherapy is heated to cause blood vessels to expand and improve the medicines penetration and effectiveness. They heated concentrated dose of chemotherapy can directly target cancerous cells, destroying them before they can become future tumors. This also means that the chemo stays where it can help the most rather than circulating throughout the body. After about 90 minutes, the surgeons wash out the chemo and close the incisions. We also offer minimally invasive HIPEC to eligible patients. For some patients, HIPEC will achieve a long term cure for their abdominal cancers. In other cases, HIPEC allows doctors to treat incurable cancers more like a chronic disease and less like a terminal illness. HIPEC means hope for patients with abdominal cancer. Need more information about HIPEC? Call 888-824-0200 or go to UChicago Medicine is here to help. [MUSIC PLAYING]

What is HIPEC?

HIPEC treatments usually occur after aggressive surgical removal of all visible abdominal tumors. During HIPEC therapy, specially trained surgeons, oncologists and perfusionists deliver a heated chemotherapy agent directly into a patient's abdominal (peritoneal) cavity through a catheter. The goal of HIPEC is to eradicate any small tumor deposits that cannot be seen or safely removed by the surgeon. In addition to eradicating tumors through direct exposure to the chemotherapy agent, HIPEC causes in heat-induced changes in the blood flow to tumor cells compared to normal cells.

Because HIPEC is administered directly into the abdomen, it is not absorbed into the blood stream and has fewer effects on the rest of the body. Physicians may administer additional medications to further minimize the effects of any absorbed chemotherapy.

Who can Benefit from HIPEC?

Patients with cancers that affect or spread to the protective abdominal lining, the peritoneum, are particularly good candidates for HIPEC treatment. The most common peritoneal cancer in children and young adults is desmoplastic small-round-cell tumor (DSRCT). DSRCT is a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and patients with the best outcomes are those who have had near-complete surgical removal of the tumor by a skilled cancer surgeon combined with HIPEC treatments. Other cancers that can be treated with HIPEC include metastatic colon cancer, certain types of sarcoma, and malignant ovarian germ cell tumors.

Why Choose the University of Chicago Medicine?

DSRCT is rare, affecting only 300 patients each year. As a result, it is important to see a team of oncologists, surgeons, nurses and ancillary staff who have expertise in treating this type of malignancy. Led by surgeon Grace Mak, MD, the multidisciplinary team at Comer Children's provides advanced, comprehensive treatment for each patient. Our abdominal surgeons are skilled in traditional and minimally invasive techniques. In addition, our team works with patients and families to make the process as easy as possible as they proceed through this treatment.