What was initially a controversial approach to treatment, intraoperative chemotherapy and radiation has become more commonplace due to its life extending benefits. These treatments are applied directly to the location of a patient’s cancer while they are undergoing a surgical procedure. The purpose of intraoperative treatments is to kill any remaining microscopic mesothelioma cells after visible tumors are removed.
Dr. Paul Sugarbaker pioneered intraoperative chemotherapy, known as hyperthermic intraperitoneal therapy (HIPEC), for patients with a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma.
Although there are still those in the medical community who are critical of the procedure, the success rates and survival rates are constantly improving. One study showed that those who had an operative cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC doubled their 2-year survival rate. Survivors like Alexis Kidd have this treatment to thank for their recovery.
Dr. Paul Sugarbaker’s brother, Dr. David Sugarbaker, has also used intraoperative chemotherapy in patients with pleural mesothelioma after having an extrapleural pneumonectomy. For those who opt for the alternative to the EPP, pleurectomy with decortication, intraoperative radiation is used to kill remaining cancer cells. Get connected with top specialists using our free Doctor Match program.