HIPEC Treatment: Heating Up the Fight Against Mesothelioma

HIPEC: Heating Up the Fight Against Mesothelioma

An elderly woman with malignant mesothelioma had a positive response to HIPEC treatment. HIPEC  stands for hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

The Journey of Diagnosing Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. It develops in the lining of organs in the body. When it grows in the abdominal cavity, it is called malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.

This type of mesothelioma causes symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, and fluid build-up in the abdomen. It can take decades after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma symptoms to appear, and it can be hard for doctors to diagnose this cancer.

Triumph Over Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma with HIPEC

In this case, a 64-year-old woman went to the hospital to get help with unexplained swelling in her abdomen. Her doctor ran some tests and found a build-up of fluid in her abdomen, which was causing the swelling.

A CT scan showed signs of what might be cancer, so the patient’s doctor recommended a surgery to look more closely at the tissue in her abdomen. This surgery revealed that the patient had malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.

After this diagnosis, the patient was treated with HIPEC. It is a procedure used to treat mesothelioma where heated and concentrated chemotherapy is placed directly in the surgical cavity during surgery.

Typical chemotherapy is put into an artery or vein and the drugs are circulated throughout the body. HIPEC is different. With HIPEC, chemotherapy is placed in direct contact where the mesothelioma tumors are removed. Because the drugs are not going throughout the body, higher doses of the drugs can be used. In addition, heating the chemotherapy is thought to improve the absorption of the drugs by the mesothelioma cells. This can help kill remaining cancer cells that are left after surgery.

The patient responded well to the HIPEC treatment and was discharged after her recovery. At a one-year follow-up appointment, her abdominal swelling was gone, and her health was strong.

This case is an example of how diagnosing mesothelioma can be challenging for doctors and patients. The case authors recommend that doctors consider mesothelioma as a diagnosis when treating patients with unexplained abdominal swelling.


Liu H, Yuan C, Huang Y, Xu N. A case of hyperthermic intraperitoneal peroperative chemotherapy (HIPEC) in the management of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma [published online ahead of print, 2023 Aug 29]. Asian J Surg. 2023;S1015-9584(23)01292-7. doi:10.1016/j.asjsur.2023.08.119. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37652775/

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