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Breakthrough Treatment For Abdominal Cancer
For More Information:
Michelle Lynch, 386.615.4282/386.231.6000, ext. 0

Breakthrough Treatment For Abdominal Cancers Performed
At Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center

December 16, 2009 (Daytona Beach, FL) --- A 57-year-old Port Orange man, who was recently diagnosed with appendiceal cancer, is the first patient in Central Florida to undergo a new treatment for abdominal cancers. Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy, also called HIPEC (pronounced high peck), was performed by Christopher Windham, a surgical oncologist with Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

“By treating complex abdominal cancers with HIPEC, we’re able to offer our patients a better opportunity for a positive outcome that improves their prognosis and quality of life,” said Windham.

Frequently heralded as a breakthrough in cancer treatment, the innovative procedure provides a “one-two punch” to slow or prevent the recurrence of certain types of cancers. Immediately after the removal of malignant abdominal tumors, a heated chemotherapy solution circulates through a patient’s abdomen to penetrate tissue and kill microscopic cancerous cells that may lurk behind. After 90 minutes, the solution is removed and the incision is closed.

Bathing the abdomen with heated chemotherapy immediately following surgery allows for higher doses of chemotherapy than would normally be tolerated by a patient if given intravenously, which is the traditional way chemotherapy is administered.

Heated chemotherapy provides three advantages:
  • heated to 42 degrees Celsius, sterile chemotherapy kills cancerous cells but does not affect normal cells;
  • heat makes the killing effect of chemotherapy more powerful;
  • heat softens tumor nodules so the chemotherapy’s penetration is enhanced.
HIPEC also improves drug absorption with minimal exposure to the rest of the body, avoiding the normal side effects of chemotherapy. The procedure is most effective with cancers that have spread to the surface of the abdominal cavity lining, such as colorectal cancer, appendiceal cancer, stomach cancer, or cancers from mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma peritonei.

Clinical studies show HIPEC is significantly more effective than surgery alone and offers patients an improved prognosis and quality of life. Five-year data has shown that patients who undergo HIPEC live longer and have a better quality of life. The HIPEC technology is produced by ThermaSolutions.

About Florida Hospital

Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center consists of two campuses, a 277-bed hospital in Daytona Beach and a 119-bed hospital in Ormond Beach. Our specialties include cardiology, emergency medicine, hospice, home health, imaging, laboratory, oncology, obstetrics, neurology, physician practices, rehabilitation and women’s services. In July 2009, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center opened as the replacement facility for Florida Hospital Ormond Memorial, which had served the community for more than 42 years. Future plans include a 30,000-square-foot replacement facility for Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center's Cancer Institute, an onsite wellness center, fitness and walking trails and a child care center.