Health Problem: Ovarian cancer (OC) is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the United States and the fifth most common type of cancer-related death among women. In 2015, the 5-year survival rate for women diagnosed with OC was 47.6%. A woman’s risk of developing OC during her lifetime is 1 in 78; the risk of death from OC cancer is 1 in 108. The majority of ovarian tumors develop from epithelial cells, which are especially prone to spread into the peritoneum, a thin continuous membrane that lines the abdominal and pelvic cavities and covers most of the abdominal viscera.

Technology Description: Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPC) is used as an adjunct to surgery for the treatment of ovarian cancer (OC) that has metastasized or may metastasize into the peritoneal cavity. HIPC occurs immediately following optimal cytoreductive surgery (CRS). During HIPC, chemotherapeutic drugs are introduced directly into the peritoneal space to eliminate microscopic tumor on the peritoneal lining and the outer surfaces of affected organs and to kill tumor cells that have disseminated throughout the cavity. Heating enhances the cytotoxic effect of the drugs.

Controversy: CRS plus HIPC is associated with substantial perioperative morbidity. Definitive patient selection criteria are needed to identify patients that are most likely to benefit from this procedure.

Key Questions:

  • Is CRS plus HIPC effective for improving OS, disease-free survival, or quality of life in adult women with peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) due to OC?

  • Is CRS plus HIPC safe?

  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for CRS plus HIPC for women with PC due to OC?

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