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Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Jul;19 Suppl 3:S475-82. doi: 10.1245/s10434-011-1984-9. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Intraoperative versus early postoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy after cytoreduction for colorectal peritoneal carcinomatosis: an experimental study.

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Department of Surgery, Catharina Hospital, Michelangelolaan 2, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.



Perioperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy is used as an adjunct to cytoreductive surgery (CS) for peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) in order to prolong survival. Worldwide, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), early postoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (EPIC), and combinations of the two are used. It remains unclear which regimen is most beneficial.


The rat colon carcinoma cell line CC-531 was injected into the peritoneal cavity of 80 WAG/Rij rats to induce PC. Animals were randomized into four treatment groups (n = 20): CS only, CS followed by HIPEC (mitomycin 35 mg/m(2) at 41.5°C), CS followed by EPIC during 5 days (i.p. injection of mitomycin on day 1 and 5-fluorouracil on days 2-5), and CS followed by HIPEC plus EPIC. Primary outcome was survival.


In rats treated with CS only, median survival was 53 days (95% confidence interval (CI) 49-57 days). In rats treated with CS followed by HIPEC, survival was significantly (P = 0.001) increased (median survival 94 days, 95% CI 51-137 days). In the group treated with EPIC after CS, 12 out of 20 rats were still alive at the end of the experiment (P < 0.001 as compared with CS only). In the group receiving both treatments, 11 rats died of toxicity, and therefore this group was not included in the survival analysis.


Both EPIC and HIPEC were effective in prolonging survival. The beneficial effect of EPIC on survival seemed to be more pronounced than that of HIPEC. Further research is indicated to evaluate and compare the possible benefits and adverse effects associated with both treatments.

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