HIPEC: Advanced treatment for cancers once thought incurable

This year nearly 150-thousand Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

A cancer that can spread to other organs like the appendix, stomach and liver.

IU Goshen Center for Cancer Care is using an advanced treatment called HIPEC which stands for Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy.
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They are one of a few centers in Indiana using the treatment on cancers otherwise considered incurable.
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65-year-old Harvey Kemp of Goshen had cancer of the appendix and was being treated with standard chemotherapy infusions in South Bend, but his tumors were not responding.
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So he went to the Center for Cancer Care for a second opinion.
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Surgical Oncologist Dr. Leonard Henry says Harvey's cancer had spread, "This is a cancer that starts in the appendix but spread through the lining of the entire abdominal cavity. When a cancer spreads to the lining of the abdominal cavity,in historical terms, it's been described as terminal."
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HIPEC combines cytoreduction surgery with chemotherapy, explaining how it works. "We actually strip the abdominal cavity wherever tumor implants are, remove organs, non-essential organs, where tumor implants may be. It doesn't do good in most situations to do the profusion without the ability to get all the tumors."
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After doctors successfully remove the tumors the patient gets a chemotherapy bath.
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"We profuse the abdominal cavity with heated fluid and when the temperature gets high enough, and the temperature is important because the temperature also kills cancer cells."
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Dr. Henry says in cases like Harvey's, with low grade appendicitis cancer, with HIPEC there is no better treatment.
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"The results of that, for certain cancer types are far superior to conventional treatments like chemotherapy alone because in certain cancers of the abdominal lining chemotherapy doesn't penetrate them very well."
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And for patients like Harvey, HIPEC is doing a lot more than buying time.
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Dr. Henry says the goal is to give him his life back. "With appendix cancer we think this approach is far superior to chemotherapy alone. The goal is not short term good outcome, the goal is to get this guy out many years."
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Welcome news for a diagnosis that was once called incurable

HIPEC is being used to treat cancer that has spread to the lining surfaces of the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity from primary colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, gastric cancer, appendiceal cancer or from mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma peritonei--known as peritoneal carcinomatosis--are such cancers. It is also being used in some cancer centers to treat ovarian cancer.
also becoming widely accepted to treat ovarian cancer.
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Dr. Henry says the surgery is risky because it is invasive and lengthy so they consider the overall health of the patient, looking for people who are fit and functioning well when determining who would benefit from the procedure.
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To learn more about Dr. Henry and the HIPEC procedure you can click on the link below.


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