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Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal and Intrapleural Chemotherapy (HIPEC) Program


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What is HIPEC?

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal/Intrapleural Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a procedure performed by highly skilled surgeons immediately following surgery. During this procedure, surgeons deliver heated chemotherapy directly into the abdominal or pleural cavity, where it can penetrate diseased tissue directly. After the surgeon removes as much visible cancer as possible (called cytoreduction/debulking surgery), he or she will circulate heated chemotherapy throughout your abdomen and/or chest to kill the remaining cancer cells that are too small to be seen.

HIPEC program
* picture reproduced with permission from Thermasolutions

The heated chemotherapy is circulated for 90-120 minutes, and then is removed and your abdomen and/or chest is flushed with a sterile solution.

In select patients, this combination therapy is effective at slowing or preventing recurrence of the disease, and can add quality months – even years – to your life.

Most patients benefit from this multimodality treatment that includes surgery, HIPEC, and intravenous chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

What does it treat?

HIPEC treats cancers that spread into the abdominal and thoracic cavities, known as peritoneal carcinomatosis. The most common diseases treated are:

  • Appendiceal cancers and mucinous tumors of the appendix
  • Pseudomyxoma peritonei (Jelly Belly)
  • Mucinous colon cancer
  • Primary peritoneal cancers
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Thymoma
  • Round cell sarcomas
  • Gastric carcinomatosis (in selected cases under clinical protocols)
  • Malignant ascites

How does HIPEC work?

Heat kills cancer cells at temperatures where normal cells remain unharmed. Heating the chemotherapeutic agents makes them more effective at killing cancer cells than they would be at normal temperatures. Circulating the heated chemotherapy throughout the peritoneal or abdominal and/or chest cavity allows the drugs to be distributed thoroughly and penetrate directly, without subjecting you to the side-effects of these drugs if given intravenously.

Our HIPEC team

Team members include experts in colorectal surgery, gynecology oncology, thoracic surgery, pediatric surgery, and medical oncology. Our surgical-medical team is supported by our dedicated HIPEC anesthesiologist, surgical intensivists, nutritionists, palliative care teams, an ostomy team, psychiatrist, as well as medical rehabilitation and sexual/body image specialists.

Our Surgeons

Floriano Marchetti, MD, FACS
Colon and Rectal Surgery
Abdulrahman Sinno, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
Joseph Matthew Pearson, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
Ann-Christina Brady, MD
Pediatric Surgery

Our Medical Oncologist

Agustin Pimentel, MD
Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology
Nkiruka Ezenwajiaku, MD
Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology
Bach Ardalan, MD
Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology
Estelamari Rodriguez, MD, MPH
Thoracic Medical Oncology
Joseph Pizzolato, MD
Gastrointestinal & Genitourinary Medical Oncology

Our Support Team

Chad Ritch, MD
Chad Ryan Ritch, MD, MBA
Urologic Oncology
Rosa P. Castillo-Acosta, MD
Rosa P. Castillo-Acosta, MD
Diagnostic Radiology
Kristin E. Rojas, MD, FACS
Kristin E. Rojas, MD, FACS
Women's Sexual Health after Cancer
Daniel D. Yeh, MD
Daniel D. Yeh, MD, FACS
Surgical Nutrition
Patricia Byers, MD
Patricia Byers, MD, FACS
Surgical Nutrition
Maria A. Rueda-Lara, MD
Maria A. Rueda-Lara, MD
Mariana Khawand-Azoulai, MD
Mariana Khawand-Azoulai, MD
Palliative Medicine
Laura Y. Huang, MD
Laura Y. Huang, MD
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Diana Margarita Maria Molinares Mejia, MD
Diana Margarita Maria Molinares Mejia, MD
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Carla Roscio Cordova, MD
Carla Roscio Cordova, MD
Elizabeth Tweedy
Elizabeth Tweedy

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

A multidisciplinary team of HIPEC experts. Our multidisciplinary team is composed of highly skilled surgeons, medical oncologists, supported by site disease navigators, dedicated HIPEC anesthesiologists and perioperative surgical team, surgical intensivists, nurse practitioners, dietitians, psychologist, palliative care and rehabilitation physicians. Sylvester is known for its leading-edge research and compassionate patient care.

Our HIPEC program was the first of its kind in South Florida. Established in 2012, our team has treated more than 200 patients to date, becoming a referral center for Floridians and international patients. We believe in the individualized treatment of each patients while maintaining a multidisciplinary approach to malignancies that spread into the peritoneal and pleural cavities. We follow strict institutional perioperative protocol to achieve the better outcomes.

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

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