Wednesday, October 16 2013, 06:18 PM MDT
Ovarian Cancer Treatment: HIPEC
(KUTV) Ovarian cancer is one of the hardest types of cancer to diagnose and treat.
In many cases, when a woman finds out she has the disease, it's already progressed. Now doctors are experimenting with a new therapy to help patients who are running out of options.
67-year-old Roberta Sand was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four years ago. After multiple surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, doctors told her she was not responding to treatment.
Roberta enrolled in an experiment at Columbia University Medical Center that uses heated chemotherapy. It's called Hyperthermic Intraoperative Chemotherapy or HIPEC.
Doctors remove the tumor, then immediately treat the area with the heated chemo. The drugs are warmed in a machine and delivered directly thru the patient's abdomen.
Traditional chemotherapy is administered at about room temperature. With this method, doctors heat the treatment to about 108 degrees. This temperature is enough to make some patients break out in a sweat.
The treatment has many of the same side effects as traditional chemotherapy.
Roberta's cancer was in remission for five months and even though it's back, she says the treatment gave her a better quality of life.
Heated chemo has had success with other types of cancer; doctors are testing the treatment on 30 ovarian cancer patients and hope to have results in the next two to three years.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)