Dealing with advanced colon cancer, especially at its toughest stage (T4), has always been tricky due to the high chance of the disease coming back even after surgery. However, a clinical trial conducted across 17 centers in Spain might have found a way to make things better: a treatment called Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC). Let's learn what this research revealed and how it could improve outcomes for people with advanced colon cancer.
From November 2015 to March 2021, researchers enrolled individuals aged 18 to 75 diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. They split these patients into two groups: one group got surgery plus HIPEC with a specific chemotherapy drug, and the other group only had surgery. Both groups then got more chemotherapy after the surgery.
The main thing they wanted to check was how many people stayed free from the disease coming back in their abdomen for three years after treatment. The results showed a much better rate (97.6%) in the group that got HIPEC compared to the group that only had surgery (87.6%). This was especially true for patients with the toughest stage of the disease (98.3% vs. 82.1%).
Even though there weren't big differences in how long people lived without the disease returning or in their overall survival between the two groups, the huge improvement in controlling the disease in the peritoneum is important. The peritoneum is a thin layer, like a sheet, that covers and protects the organs in your belly (abdominal cavity). It helps keep everything in place and allows organs to move smoothly without rubbing against each other. The trial suggests that adding HIPEC after surgery could help lower the chances of the disease coming back in that area.