The study looked retrospectively at 24 pediatric patients diagnosed with a rare and aggressive pediatric cancer known as desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT). Patients who received the surgical procedure called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) or "heated chemotherapy," had an overall three-year survival rate of 71 percent. For patients who received only standard treatment, 26 percent survived three years.
"This study demonstrates that the surgical technique is safe and advantageous for patients who have multiple tumors in their abdomen," said Andrea Hayes-Jordan, first author of the paper. "In the past, these patients were told there was nothing else to be done, but now we can add months and often years to the lives of these young patients using this surgery."
Previous studies have shown the synergy created when chemotherapy is heated. With HIPEC, Hayes-Jordan will spend ten to twelve hours removing, or debulking, the hundreds of tumors in a patient's abdominal cavity. Then she will run the chemotherapy, heated at 40 to 41 degrees Celsius (104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit), throughout the cavity while the patient lies on a cooling blanket to keep the body's temperatures at a safe level. The chemotherapy helps to kill any microscopic tumor cells that are left behind after the debulking surgery. Within one to two months, patients are often fully recovered from surgery and back to their regular activities.
Results indicated that younger patients had better outcomes from HIPEC than patients older than 18 years. Disease-free survival was also better for those who received HIPEC in addition to debulking surgery. At one year, disease-free survival was 14 percent for those who only received debulking surgery as compared to 53 percent who received HIPEC. "We really are encouraged that this is going to help many children with abdominal tumors," said Hayes-Jordan.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center