PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is a controversial cancer treatment that is raising eyebrows in the medical community. Some hospitals are treating patients with ovarian or colorectal cancer by opening up their abdominal cavity, examining every organ for tumor, then pouring heated chemotherapy medication right into the abdomen for an hour and a half. The procedure is not offered here in Philadelphia and a local expert explains why.
Dr. Stephen Rubin, chief of Gynecological Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, is not a fan of this course of treatment, “Unfortunately, it’s something that has been around in various iterations for decades now and it remains unproven. It’s never been subject to rigorous scientific study.”
What are the risks associated with this treatment?
“Blood clots, bleeding, infection, damage to other organs, risks of chemotherapy itself and patients would typically need additional treatment after that anyway. I think most practitioners would say this is an unproven technique and should remain strictly experimental.”
Dr. Rubin says they do use inter peritoneal chemotherapy, but it’s not hot and it’s not done in the O.R. He says if your physician recommends this course of treatment, you should ask him or her for scientific evidence of benefits.
Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060