What is HIPEC?

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a technique used to treat gastrointestinal cancers and sarcomas that have spread to the lining of the abdomen.

HIPEC is done in combination with surgery, and involves using a using a heated chemotherapy solution that is circulated throughout the abdominal cavity while the patient is in the operating room.

Following surgery to remove any visible tumors, the patient is connected to a series of catheters and a pumping device that bathes the entire abdominal cavity with the chemotherapy drugs for approximately two hours.

The high temperature of the solution has been found to increase the drug's therapeutic effect. The fluid goes throughout the abdomen to treat any tumor cells that may remain after surgery. Both heat and direct contact with chemotherapy drugs kill the cancer cells.

Read our Patient Success Stories.

What are the benefits of HIPEC?

Clinical studies have shown HIPEC to be significantly more effective than surgery alone for GI cancers that have spread to the abdomen. Combined with tumor removal, HIPEC can improve survival and quality of life for patients who would otherwise have few if any options. The technique has also been shown to reduce pain dramatically.

HIPEC Expertise

The University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center surgeons and other GI oncology experts work together closely throughout the treatment process to provide:

  • A highly individualized treatment plan for each patient;
  • The latest technology currently available;
  • Complex, aggressive therapies, including clinical trials; and
  • Immediate access to care.

For More Information

  • For more information about HIPEC, please call UMGCCC's Division of Surgical Oncology at 410-328-7320.
  • For information on any of the cancer care programs or services at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, please call 1-800-888-8823 or our Patient Referral Office at 410-328-7904.