Article Abstract

Then and now: cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), a historical perspective

Authors: Madalyn G. Neuwirth, H. Richard Alexander, Giorgos C. Karakousis


The management of peritoneal carcinomatosis, once considered a condition with few therapeutic options, has undergone dramatic change with the advancement of surgical techniques and systemic cancer therapy. Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) followed by hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) administration, in particular, has significantly impacted the prospect of improving outcomes for this debilitating presentation of malignancy in selected patients. This regional surgical therapy itself has undergone many stages of evolution through its original conception nearly a century ago. Progressive changes in this field have included refinements and ongoing standardization in technique, development of a common language to describe tumor burden and extent of resection, better selection of chemotherapeutics based on tumor histology, reduction of surgical morbidity and mortality, and an improved understanding of factors for appropriate patient selection, to list but a few examples. CRS/HIPEC continues to play an important role in the management of select patients with carcinomatosis of certain tumor histology and its role will no doubt continue to be redefined as new therapies emerge.