WVU Cancer Institute surgical oncologists perform new treatment for abdominal cancer

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Brian Boone, M.D., surgical oncologist in the WVU Medicine Department of Surgery and WVU Cancer Institute, performed the state’s first hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) infusion. This treatment delivers heated, sterilized chemotherapy to the abdomen as a treatment for cancer that has spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity, or peritoneum.

Brian Boone, M.D.
Brian Boone, M.D.

This technique delivers chemotherapy directly to the affected areas of the abdomen, increasing its effectiveness and reducing the complications of systemic chemotherapy. It is a treatment option for patients who have advanced surface spread of abdominal cancer that has not spread outside the abdomen.

“We are always looking for ways to treat cancer without increasing the health burden on the patient,” Carl Schmidt, M.D., surgical oncologist and surgeon-in-chief at the WVU Cancer Institute, said. “This treatment allows us to deliver concentrated chemotherapy directly to the affected area without many of the side effects of traditional chemotherapy infusions.”

Surgeons first perform cytoreductive surgery to remove visible tumors in the abdomen, then the chemotheraphy is heated to 41 to 42 degrees Celsius and is circulated through the abdomen for more than an hour. Once the chemotherapy has been delivered, it is drained from the abdomen, and the incision is closed. Patients can expect to spend 10-14 days in the hospital after the procedure.

“HIPEC allows us to provide more targeted treatment that has the potential to provide a much better outcome for our patients,” Dr. Boone said. “The ability to offer advanced procedures like this helps WVU Medicine stand apart as a leader in innovation and patient care.”

HIPEC is part of a larger regional cancer therapies program at WVU Medicine that includes other procedures that deliver chemotherapy to the areas where it is needed most, including isolated hepatic perfusion and placement of hepatic artery infusion pumps.

The patient is doing well and is expected to be released in the next week.