"Ovarian cancer often spreads to the peritoneum. With surgery, you remove as much visible disease as possible, but tiny spots are often left behind. We have shown that this nasty disease stays away longer and women survive longer if you circulate heated chemotherapy throughout the abdominal cavity for an hour and a half at the end of surgery. This treatment has no additional side effects, but is about 15,000 euros more expensive than surgery without this HIPEC treatment. In part because you need more time in the operating room. We have calculated that the treatment is cost-effective in the Netherlands. Since 2019, HIPEC is reimbursed by health insurance and is included in the Dutch guideline. Ten hospitals across the Netherlands offer this treatment to eligible patients. I find the process of decision-making very interesting, which is why I am now working as a postdoctoral fellow in health economics at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. We use mathematical simulation models to weigh up the costs and benefits of new treatments." Simone defends her thesis on April 14.
This research was financially supported by the Dutch Cancer Society