Pioneering Treatment Option for Abdominal Cancers Once a cancer has metastasized, or spread, it becomes more difficult to treat. Several cancers, such as colon, ovarian, gastric, and appendix cancer and mesothelioma, spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity called the peritoneum and were historically considered fatal. Not anymore. “Think about peritoneal metastases as spots of cancer like specks of paint on the walls of a room,” said Kiran Turaga, MD, associate pro- fessor of surgery. “These cancers are difficult to see on modern tests including CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans. Often patients are told they are cancer-free, when the cancer is growing inside untreated.” Turaga has developed expertise in performing a specialized treatment technique called HIPEC (or Heated IntraPEritoneal Chemotherapy), which has also been modified to be delivered laparoscopically in some cases. In a HIPEC procedure, the surgeons first remove any visible cancerous spots from the abdom- inal cavity. Then, they insert tubes through small incisions and flow about three liters of chemother- apy—about one liter per minute, heated to about 42 degrees centi- grade (108° Fahrenheit)—through the abdomen. “HIPEC is now standard of care for appendix cancer and for mesothe- lioma,” Turaga said. “The European Society of Medical Oncology con- siders it standard for patients with colorectal cancer or peritoneal “Thought leaders in medical oncology, gynecological oncology, radiation oncology and radiology, amongst other groups, are working together, uniquely blended in with the translational research at the University to forge progress in this disease state.” — Kiran Turaga, MD (continued on page 18) Kiran Turaga, MD, is a pioneer in HIPEC. 16 Powered by Innovation