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Breaking Ground in Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment

Breaking Ground in Abdominal Mesothelioma Treatment

Researchers from Spain are trying to understand just how effective a multi-modal therapy is at treating mesothelioma in the abdomen. The treatment is called cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Or, CRS-HIPEC for short.

Mesothelioma that is found in the abdomen is called peritoneal mesothelioma. It is caused by the ingestion of asbestos fibers. Those tiny asbestos fibers become stuck in the abdomen.

After 20 to 50 years, these fibers can cause inflammation and mutations in the healthy cells in the abdomen. These mutations can cause these cells to form tumors in the abdomen. Patients diagnosed with MPM have longer life expectancy than those with other types of mesothelioma. Some studies report patients live up to 5 years after treatment.

Understanding the Impact of CRS-HIPEC on Peritoneal Mesothelioma

CRS-HIPEC is the standard treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma. This is a two-part procedure. First, doctors perform surgery on the patient to remove all visible tumors from the abdomen. Then, heated chemotherapy drugs are delivered directly into the abdomen. The heat helps to make the drugs more effective and may also kill remaining cancer cells.

CRS-HIPEC has been very successful at treating peritoneal mesothelioma, but doctors do not have much reliable data to look at. It is hard to do proper studies for rare diseases like mesothelioma. Instead, the researchers for this study looked at data from a national registry in Spain.

The researchers looked at patient information collected over 20 years and found over 4,000 surgeries were done on about 3,900 patients. Most of the patients were women and the average age was 59 years. In addition to peritoneal mesothelioma, CRS-HIPEC was also used to treat colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and gastric cancer.

CRS-HIPEC was successful at removing most of the cancer in over 80% of the patients. Some patients had complications after the surgery, but the overall survival rates were promising. Patients who had mesothelioma survived on average for five and half years after treatment.

This study shows that CRS-HIPEC is a safe treatment option for many patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.


Manzanedo I, Pereira F, Cascales-Campos P, et al. Treatment of Peritoneal Surface Malignancies by Cytoreductive Surgery (CRS) and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) in Spain: Results of the National Registry of the Spanish Group of Peritoneal Oncologic Surgery (REGECOP). J Clin Med. 2023;12(11):3774. Published 2023 May 31. doi:10.3390/jcm12113774. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10253421/

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