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LorettaMarshall's picture
Posts: 682
Joined: Sep 2012

This letter is written to answer one of the post in the Peritoneal Cancer forum.  However, since so many have asked the question in the past, "What is HIPEC?", I thought that if I entered this info on a separate topic line, it could more easily be found for others to read as well.  These references relate to the UPMC program for HYPERTHERMIC INTRAPERITONEAL CHEMOPERFUSION (HIPEC) TREATMENT

If one reads my “about me” page, you will see that both my husband and I have been patients at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  My husband, at age 65, was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma at the Gastroesophageal junction – Stage III (T3N1M0).  He underwent pre-op chemo and radiation at home then traveled to UPMC where Dr. James D. Luketich performed an Ivor Lewis Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy (MIE) on May 17, 2003.  We are elated that my husband is still cancer free as of this date, April 2017.  His latest PET scan reveals no evidence of malignancy.  We highly recommend UPMC and the MIE as the surgery of choice for Esophageal Cancer

My initial diagnosis was Peritoneal Carcinomatosis in November of 2012. 

A second opinion at UPMC three weeks later revealed tumors on my ovaries as well.  Neo-adjuvant (pre-op) chemo of Carboplatin/Taxol was given here at home.  We then traveled to UPMC again in July of 2013 for the Cytoreductive Surgery.  Now in my case, (Stage IV) this was never intended to be a “curative” surgery, but one that would remove as many “non-essential” organs as possible to prevent further metastasis (spread).  Dr. David Bartlett performed the surgery.  He discussed the possibility of the HIPEC procedure with me, but explained that once surgery was in process, a definite determination would be made.  Ultimately, he chose not to proceed with the “hot chemo bath” after the removal of the “non-essential” organs.  (Naturally I hoped I would be a candidate but I trust his judgment.)

Prior to this surgery, a partial hysterectomy and an appendectomy, had already taken place years ago.  So the “non-essential organs” that were left were removed.  Had my uterus and appendix been intact, they would have been removed as well.  My surgery included removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, omentum, gallbladder, spleen, and resectioning of my intestines.  The surgery was a success, and I am grateful to UPMC and the Lord for my still being alive 4 years later.  Yes, I’ve had additional chemo regimens and targeted radiation since my initial surgery.  However, the purpose of this post is to provide the reader with some extensive references specifically related to how the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) administers this HIPEC treatment.  They are one of the highest volume centers for this “HYPERTHERMIC INTRAPERITONEAL CHEMOPERFUSION (HIPEC) TREATMENT.  My husband and I give UPMC our highest recommendation. 

The references below pertain to how this HIPEC treatment is administered specifically at UPMC.  I have taken the liberty of putting in some preliminary information as to the availability of housing for out-of-town patients and their family members.  And by all means, please no matter what particular problem one has, a SECOND OPINION, is a wise choice. 


During our visits to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, we have stayed at all of the “Family Houses” at one time or another.  We prefer the Family House Shadyside because of its proximity to the Hillman Cancer Center.  It is also directly across the street from Shadyside Hospital, where my husband and I have both been treated from time to time.  You may call the number below or send them an e-mail if you need housing.  Simply inform them of the day you wish to arrive, and you may request a certain family house.  Of course, openings are subject to availability on any given day.  It all depends on how many patients are being discharged on any given day.  The house has all the conveniences of home.  There is a huge kitchen and dining area as well as a laundry area, workout area, music room, library, etc.  We’ve never been disappointed as a patient at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Incidentally, no matter which of the homes one chooses, a shuttle bus comes by each house on a regular schedule.  Patients are picked up and taken to their place of treatment.  Once a patient arrives at UPMC, they can park their car and “leave the driving to the shuttle bus drivers”.  Now of course Pittsburgh is a lovely place complete with huge beautiful old buildings, and as one progresses, you might want to venture out on your own.  From time to time, donors come by the houses and give free tickets to patients.  The tickets are for sports as well as the theatre.

I trust this will help those whose cancer diagnoses qualify to receive this beneficial treatment that is limited to the abdominal cavity and destroys thousands of tumor cells that are initially too small to be detected by scans. 

Always wishing the best success for anyone diagnosed with any kind of cancer! 

Loretta Marshall (and William) (We are 2 miracles)

*Multiple references below mostly related to UPMC HIPEC treatment protocol


1.  http://www.familyhouse.org/

Family House


Administrative Office5001 Baum Blvd Suite 545Pittsburgh, PA
15213 United States



2.  http://www.upmccancercenter.com/cancer-care/surgical-oncology/koch-regional-cancer-therapy-center/doctors-staff

3   http://www.upmccancercenter.com/cancer-care/surgical-oncology/koch-regional-cancer-therapy-center


Cancer Treatment: Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Nucleus Medical Media – Feb. 6, 2014 - Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, or HIPEC, is a treatment option for patients with advanced cancers that have spread to the abdominal cavity or peritoneum.  First, the doctor performs an operation to remove all visible tumors from the abdominal cavity. Then, the HIPEC is administered, which is a heated chemotherapy treatment aimed at killing any remaining cancer cells that cannot be seen.  (3:50 minutes) animated video


5.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot3YAxpOLR0

HIPEC Shows Promise for Treatment of Abdominal Cancers

 Published on Apr 5, 2013 - David Bartlett, MD, vice chairman for surgical oncology and gastrointestinal services at UPMC, discusses HIPEC as an approach that may improve the long term survival of patients diagnosed with abdominal cancers when used in conjunction with other cancer therapies. (3.56 minutes)


6.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHK23AWoG0Q&t=116s

Dr. David Bartlett discusses the HIPEC program at UPMC (6:29 Minutes)


7.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdNtah1mpg4

Published on Sep 17, 2012 - UPMC physician's assistant discusses HIPEC pre-operative workup, orders and consent forms (3:00 minutes)


8.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lqnl-3WP7Y

HIPEC Procedure - Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

Published on Sep 14, 2015 - A novel procedure called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) combines surgery, heat and chemotherapy, creating a powerful treatment that can dramatically improve the quality of life, and sometimes even extend it, for patients with these types of cancer. (4:45 minutes)


9.  http://www.upmccancercenter.com/cancer-care/surgical-oncology/koch-regional-cancer-therapy-center/treatments/hipec?&gclid=COKrsOvtyNMCFV6BswodqugDQg

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion (HIPEC) Treatment

Many tumors too advanced for surgical removal remain confined to a single organ or region of the body. Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) is a surgical technique that we use to treat these types of tumors.

What Can I Expect During Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion?

In HIPEC, our surgeons may first debulk, or partially remove, the tumor prior to treating.

    • Afterwards, the surgeon makes two small incisions and inserts tubes:
      • One to pump the heated chemotherapy solution into your body.
      • One to circulate the fluid back to the heating equipment.
    • Once the treatment begins, the temperature in the chest cavity rises to between 105 and 107.6 F (40.6 and 42 C).
    • The chemotherapy solution circulates for several hours to kill the cancer cells.
    • The pump is turned off to allow the treated region to cool to normal temperature.
  • Then the surgeon removes the tubes and temperature probes, closes the incisions, and sends you to recovery…”


HIPEC Patient Education Video Series - Introduction  

HIPEC Treatment - Published on Sep 17, 2012 - Dr. David Bartlett discusses the HIPEC program at UPMC (2:00 minute video intro)


11.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRfU-oOBNGU

Specialty Care Centers at UPMC Cancer Centers

Uploaded on May 17, 2011- Dr. David Bartlett explains how UPMC Cancer Centers streamlines cancer care. (2:55 minutes)


12.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ4rdhhboVs&t=185s

HIPEC Patient Education Video Series - Patient Selection

Published on Sep 17, 2012 - Dr. Herbert Zeh discusses HIPEC Patient Selection at UPMC – (4:43 Minutes)

13.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiAu-LHQHoY&t=672s

Dr. David Bartlett HIPEC Webinar - HIPEC Treatment - Uploaded on Jan 27, 2012 – (24:58 minutes)


14.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSeqsc-2WFM

HIPEC Patient Education Video Series - Cytoreductive Surgery

Published on Sep 17, 2012 – Dr. James Pingpank discusses the operative technique for debulking and cytoreductive surgery at UPMC (10:06 Minutes)


15.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCABswECFYg&t=250s

Published on Sep 17, 2012 - Dr. Steven Ahrendt (my doctor who monitored my recovery from Cytoreductive Surgery) discusses post-operative issues and follow up care – (18:15 minutes)


16.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATJ-2bLz14c&t=235s

HIPEC Patient Education Video Series – Anesthesia

Published on Sep 17, 2012 - Dr. Larry Maher discusses the role of anesthesia in the HIPEC procedure at UPMC (11:24 minutes)


17.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHNoeMxqnro

Published on Sep 17, 2012 - A UPMC nurse practitioner discusses Perioperative care (4:24 minutes)


18.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI2GYjxM8_o

HIPEC Patient Education Video Series - Operating Room Nursing & Perfusion

Published on Sep 17, 2012 - A UPMC clinical specialist discusses the operating room nursing and perfusion aspects of HIPEC (18.09 minutes)


19.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6DpWGEKQ3g

Uploaded on May 17, 2011- Dr. David Bartlett discusses treatment options for cancer that has advanced beyond surgical treatment.


20.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiAu-LHQHoY

This is a 24 – minute video by Dr. David Bartlett explaining which types of cancer benefit from HIPEC. 


21.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHK23AWoG0Q

Dr. David Bartlett discusses the HIPEC program at UPMC-A 6 minute video by Dr. Bartlett explaining HIPEC.



Published on Jan 22, 2014-Hyperthermic (or Heated) Intraoperative Peritoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is used to treat cancers that have spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity, such as those of the appendix, colon, stomach, and ovaries.


23.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeDDYt_5-Gw

Published on Feb 6, 2014-Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, or HIPEC, is a treatment option for patients with advanced cancers that have spread to the abdominal cavity or peritoneum.  First, the doctor performs an operation to remove all visible tumors from the abdominal cavity. Then, the HIPEC is administered, which is a heated chemotherapy treatment aimed at killing any remaining cancer cells that cannot be seen.


24.  http://www.hipec.com/

4:38 minute video explaining HIPEC treatment for Peritoneal Cancer


25.  http://www.hipec.com/peritoneal-cancer/treatment-options/

 26.  http://www.hipec.com/hipec/

Treatment Centers around the globe.



27.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076138/


Intraperitoneal therapy for peritoneal cancer


________________End of references – mostly relative to UPMC HIPEC program___________________________