HIPEC gives new hope to stage four
cancer patients when chemotherapy fails
It's called the modern day medical marvel. HIPEC, a first of its
kind machine in India, has proved a life-saver for two Stage IV
cancer patients and holds the promise to be a boon for other such
cancer patients when the traditional intravenous chemotherapy
The Hyperthermic Intra-Peritonial Chemotherapy (HIPEC) machine has
been installed at Mumbai's L.H. Hiranandani Hospital.
With Tata Cancer Hospital, one of the biggest cancer hospitals in
the country, already overburdened with cancer surgeries, the HIPEC
procedure can provide relief to several patients who otherwise
would have to wait for many months for their turn.
Priced at Rs.6 million (over $130,000) HIPEC is manufactured by a
French company. The procedure uses a high concentration of
The machine has already proved to be a life-saver for two patients
who have been successfully operated upon using a combination of
cytoreductive surgery -- which involves reducing number of cancer
cells -- and HIPEC.
"The right combination of these two aspects of the treatment are
critical for the success of the strategy," Sanket Mehta, the
medico who conducted both the surgeries, told IANS.
According to Mehta, there are only 35 centres around the world
that undertake the HIPEC treatment, a majority of them being in
Europe and the US.
Mehta, who has specially been trained in France for cytoreductive
surgery and HIPEC, said it is also vital to have an excellent
anaesthesia team and trained intensive care unit for a successful
"Hence, it cannot be done everywhere and needs a complete team
effort," he said, adding that the treatment starts from Rs.5 lakh.
Sadashiv Patidar, 65, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh, was the first
patient to have successfully undergone the surgery. He was
suffering from Pseudomyxoma Peritoneii -- a stage IV complicated
case of cancer of appendix.
During the surgery, all the visible tumours within the abdominal
cavity were removed. Following this, chemotherapy through the
HIPEC was administered at very high concentration -- at a high
temperature and high flow rate, using a special machine to
eradicate microscopic residual disease.
Mehta and his team removed about five kg of tumours and three
litres of jelly like material, the very characteristic of
"I started getting recurrent bouts of vomiting and had difficulty
in walking when it all started six months back," said Patidar, a
sugarcane and cotton farmer from Budwani in Indore district.
Patidar, who spent close to Rs.1 million, for the entire
treatment, was thankful to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj
Singh Chouhan for the Rs.2 lakh allotted to him from the Chief
Minister's Fund and also the hospital authorities for giving a
Rs.1 lakh concession on the surgery.
Mehta said the treatment has increased Patidar's survival chances
by up to 10 years. "He is eating well and there is no weakness. He
has recovered extremely well," he said.
After Patidar, Mehta operated upon a 50-year-old woman, a
complicated case of stage IV cancer of the appendix.
Meha says the treatment is applicable for various kinds of stage
IV cancers like pseudomyxomas (cancer of appendix spread to entire
abdomen), colorectal cancers (cancer of the large intestine),
ovarian cancers and mesotheliomas (primary cancer of pertonium -
serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal covering
most of the intra-abdominal organs).
He says that with the help of the treatment, a significant number
of patients with pseudomyxomas can survive for up to 10 years and
there is also a good chance of cure.
Every year, Mumbai alone witnesses 4,000 new cases of
pseudomyxomas and mesothiliomas, a majority of whom succumb to
their illness due to the limitations of the conventional
"More than 2,000 new cases of stage IV colorectal and ovarian
cancers would also be potentially eligible for this treatment,"
(Mauli Buch can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)