New Massey procedure offers hope to patients with advanced abdominal cancers

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Some patients with the most advanced abdominal cancers have a new treatment option in Richmond.

Today a surgical oncology team demonstrated HIPEC in a simulation lab at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

HIPEC has been shown to provide a clear benefit for certain patients whose cancers have spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity, such as those of the stomach, colon, ovaries and appendix.

“They tend to die in six to eight months,” Dr. Leopoldo Fernandez, a Massey surgical oncologist, explains the typical grim prognosis for those patients. “With this procedure, we’ve seen increases in survival upwards of 30 to 40 percent out five years, so it’s a big difference.”

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HIPEC uses a heated chemotherapy solution. It circulates throughout the abdominal cavity to kill remaining cancer cells after all visible tumors have been surgically removed.

Massey recently became the only cancer care provider in the region to offer HIPEC, which takes eight to ten hours to complete.

Dr. Fernandez and his team performed the first procedure on January 5.

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