Moreover, the treatment has almost no additional side effects. This research, led by the Netherlands Cancer Institute, was carried out in collaboration with five other hospitals and will be published in the prestigious New England Journal on January 18, 2018. A total of 245 patients participated in the study.
Ovarian cancer is the gynecological malignancy with the highest mortality worldwide. In the Netherlands, approximately 1300 women receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer annually. In about 75% of cases, the disease has already metastasized in the abdomen when diagnosed. The standard treatment, in this case, consists of a comprehensive operation in combination with chemotherapy. There are two treatment strategies, the patient either starts with an operation followed by 6 courses of chemotherapy [primary debulking] or is given three chemotherapy courses before and three after the operation [interval debulking]. With this treatment, about a third of the patients are still alive after five years.
Over the last ten years, The Netherlands Cancer Institute has, in collaboration with five other hospitals (AMC, St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein/UMC Utrecht, UMC Groningen, Catharina Hospital Eindhoven and Radboud UMC), studied whether an abdominal lavage with heated chemotherapy in combination with interval debulking improves the chances of a cure. The study shows that, after five years, women who received a HIPEC treatment had 10% more chance of survival than women who did not undergo the HIPEC treatment. There was also no difference seen in the side effects or complications between the 2 groups, and the HIPEC was well tolerated.