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Should the Treatment of Peritoneal Carcinomatosis by Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Still be Regarded as a Highly Morbid Procedure?: A Systematic Review of Morbidity and Mortality

Chua, Terence C. BScMed (Hons); Yan, Tristan D. BSc (Med), MBBS, PhD; Saxena, Akshat BMedSc; Morris, David L. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181a45d86

Background: Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has been offered in many institutions worldwide since the 1990s. Despite its existence of more than 10 years, this treatment has received heavy criticism for its morbidity and mortality rates. This consequentially resulted in a lack of randomized trials being conducted and translates into a lack of the most reliable form of scientific evidence in clinical research, hence limiting its general acceptance.

Objective: To report the morbidity and mortality outcomes of CRS and HIPEC from all institutions performing this treatment as a prelude toward establishing the safety of this treatment for peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Methods: A systematic review of relevant studies before August 2008 was performed. Each study was appraised using a predetermined protocol. The quality of studies was assessed. The morbidity and mortality of the treatment were synthesized through a narrative review with full tabulation of results of all included studies.

Conclusions: The morbidity and mortality outcomes of CRS and HIPEC are similar to a major gastrointestinal surgery, such as a Whipple's procedure. To derive the maximal benefit of this treatment, careful patient selection with an optimal level of postoperative care must be advocated to avoid undesirable complications of this treatment.

This systematic review reports the morbidity and mortality outcomes following treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis with cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. A detailed discussion ensues to address the safety issues concerning this treatment.

From the Department of Surgery, St George Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Reprints: David L. Morris, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, St George Hospital, University of New South Wales, Level 3 Pitney Building, Gray Street, Kogarah, New South Wales 2217, Sydney, Australia. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.