Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy: A Promising Treatment For Advanced Ovarian Cancer

woman stomach pain

Chemotherapy delivered directly into the abdomen significantly improves survival among women with advanced ovarian cancer, a new study finds.

However, fewer than half of U.S. patients who could benefit from this treatment — called intraperitoneal chemotherapy — are receiving it, according to Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center researchers.

The investigators studied whether a combination of intraperitoneal (IP) and intravenous (IV) chemotherapy was as effective in clinical practice as in a clinical trial involving women who’d had surgery for stage III ovarian cancer.

The researchers examined the medical records of more than 800 women who were treated for stage III ovarian cancer between 2003 and 2012, and were eligible for IP/IV combination therapy.

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According to the study, 81 percent of women who received the dual therapy were alive three years after treatment, compared with 71 percent of those who received IV chemotherapy alone. However, only 41 percent of the patients who were deemed to be suitable candidates actually received the dual therapy, the team reported.

The investigators also found that the side effects of the dual therapy were less severe than those reported in the clinical trial.