The Gynecologic Oncology division launched the first Ontario HIPEC (heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy) program for patients with advanced ovarian cancer in 2019.
HIPEC involves filling the abdominal cavity with heated chemotherapy during the cytoreductive surgery. Back in 2011, Mount Sinai Hospital, in collaboration with Princess Margaret Cancer Center, established itself as a centre of excellence in the administration of HIPEC treatment with the launch of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program. It’s the only program of its kind in Ontario, and there are only six in Canada.
Ovarian cancer is a disease that presents with peritoneal spread, leading to the hypothesis that HIPEC would be an option for ovarian cancer patients. Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy has been used in treatment of ovarian cancer since the 1990s, but not with heated chemotherapy and not on the day of surgery. In 2018, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a randomized controlled trial that assessed the benefit of HIPEC at time of surgery for selected group of patients with advanced ovarian cancer, who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and met certain clinical criteria. On average, the group that had the HIPEC had a longer period before the cancer came back and a longer survival outcome of 12 months.
By July 2019, the Gynecologic Oncology division treated the first ovarian cancer patient with HIPEC at Mount Sinai Hospital. It was initially as part of a feasibility study. We have now formalized our HIPEC program with the support of Cancer Care Ontario-Ontario Health, Mount Sinai Hospital and Princess Margaret Cancer center and are offering it more broadly to patients with advanced ovarian cancer that qualify. If you meet eligibility criteria, your surgeon will discuss this novel and promising treatment option with you.