University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Ohio, US, has installed new technology at the Seidman Cancer Center to treat ovarian, endometrial and other cancers.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), which is carried out immediately following surgery, delivers heated chemotherapy through a ‘hot bath’ into the abdominal cavity, targeting the diseased tissue. The technology will circulate heated and sterilised chemotherapy solution throughout the abdomen to destroy the remaining cancer cells, according to the medical centre.

UH Case Medical Center plans to launch several Phase I trials for patients this year, including a first-of-its-kind study involving the use of heated chemotherapy for ovarian cancer that has spread to the thoracic cavity. A second study will involve advanced ovarian cancer patients in remission, who have completed early therapy of surgery and chemotherapy. A third study is planned for patients whose cancer recurs, while a fourth trial will incorporate HIPEC into the surgery for patients on a neoadjuvant regimen, who have had initial chemotherapy.

UH Case Medical Center gynaecologic oncologist Robert DeBernardo said despite the obvious benefits, only a minority of women currently receive intraperitoneal (IP) therapy due to practical difficulties involved in administering chemotherapy solution directly into the abdomen following surgery. "HIPEC is now viewed as the next logical step in treating gynaecologic cancers such as recurrent and new ovarian and certain endometrial cancers. We believe this procedure can improve the odds for our patients and are eager to launch this series of clinical trials to further validate HIPEC’s use in our patients. In our battle against cancer, we keep developing novel methods to outsmart the disease and HIPEC is yet another important tool in our war chest," he added.