Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Surgery
Until recently, surgery was used only very selectively for the management of symptoms from peritoneal carcinomatosis, such as intestinal blockage and pain. However, due to improvements in our understanding of the biology of peritoneal carcinomatosis and advances in surgical techniques, surgery is now a therapeutic option for select patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. This surgery is often referred to as cytoreductive surgery or tumor debulking. The goal of the surgery is to remove all the tumor that can be seen at the time of the operation.
Cytoreductive surgery or tumor debulking is often combined with a chemotherapy treatment that is given directly into the belly cavity (intraperitoneal) at the time of surgery. The intraperitoneal chemotherapy is used to kill any microscopic tumor cells that could not be seen at the time of surgery. Both cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy are performed on a regular basis by the surgical oncologists of the UMass Memorial Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Program.
Chemotherapy is an essential component of treatment for most patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. In addition to standard treatment regimens, the medical oncologists at the Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Program at UMass Memorial also offer a number of clinical trial opportunities for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis.
Symptom Control/ Palliative Care/ Hospice
At more advanced stages, peritoneal carcinomatosis can cause symptoms that significantly impact a person’s quality of life. For these reasons, the Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Program at UMass Memorial is committed to optimizing the use of medicine and surgery to control symptoms specifically related to peritoneal carcinomatosis. In addition, our program provides compassionate support and guidance to patients and families transitioning to palliative and hospice care.