Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Gynecologic Cancers and HIPEC

At Siteman Cancer Center, Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) may be a part of the treatment plan for patients with ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancers. Often, these cancers are diagnosed once they have already spread throughout the abdominal cavity. HIPEC is used in combination with other treatments, including intravenous (IV) chemotherapy and surgery. HIPEC is a localized, high-dose, heated chemotherapy, which is used to eliminate cancer cells at the same time as cytoreductive surgery.


IV Chemotherapy, Cytoreduction Surgery and HIPEC

Patients diagnosed with ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers will be evaluated for eligibility of HIPEC. Factors including the patient’s overall health, cancer stage, and response to IV chemotherapy will all indicate if HIPEC is the best course of treatment for them. If appropriate, the patient’s cancer will be treated with:

  • IV chemotherapy before surgery
  • Cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC
  • IV chemotherapy following surgery

Washington University gynecologic oncologists will follow a patient from their diagnosis, through IV chemotherapy treatment, their surgery with HIPEC and follow up thereafter.


What is the HIPEC Procedure?

Washington University Physicians at Siteman Cancer Center offer advanced treatments, including Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC), for patients diagnosed with
abdominal cancers.

HIPEC occurs in the operating room after our skilled surgeons perform cytoreductive surgery to remove visible tumors. Then, heated chemotherapy is delivered directly into the abdomen, where it circulates for 90 minutes before being removed. The surgeon then closes the incision, completing the procedure.

HIPEC is a highly specialized treatment not widely available elsewhere. It is designed to
maximize chemotherapy’s effect on cancer cells in the abdomen while minimizing
side effects on the patient.


How long is HIPEC surgery?

The total time that the HIPEC procedure takes depends on the amount of tumor that needs to be removed surgically. After the tumors are removed from the abdomen and pelvis, the HIPEC procedure begins, and it adds, on average, an additional 120 minutes.


HIPEC at Siteman Cancer Center

HIPEC is a highly specialized treatment option that is not offered at every cancer center. In order to treat primary peritoneal, fallopian tube, ovarian cancers with HIPEC, Washington University surgeons have additional expertise to offer this treatment. This allows each of our patients to have access to exceptional, cutting-edge care.