Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy for Unresectable Peritoneal Surface Malignancies

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Malignancies of the peritoneal cavity are associated with a dismal prognosis. Systemic chemotherapy is the gold standard for patients with unresectable peritoneal disease, but its intraperitoneal effect is hampered by the peritoneal-plasma barrier. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy, which is administered repeatedly into the peritoneal cavity through a peritoneal implanted port, could provide a novel treatment modality for this patient population. This review provides a systematic overview of intraperitoneal used drugs, the performed clinical studies so far, and the complications of the peritoneal implemental ports. Several anticancer drugs have been studied for intraperitoneal application, with the taxanes paclitaxel and docetaxel as the most commonly used drug. Repeated intraperitoneal chemotherapy, mostly in combination with systemic chemotherapy, has shown promising results in Phase I and Phase II studies for several tumor types, such as gastric cancer, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Two Phase III studies for intraperitoneal chemotherapy in gastric cancer have been performed so far, but the results regarding the superiority over standard systemic chemotherapy alone, are contradictory. Pressurized intraperitoneal administration, known as PIPAC, is an alternative way of administering intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and the first prospective studies have shown a tolerable safety profile. Although intraperitoneal chemotherapy might be a standard treatment option for patients with unresectable peritoneal disease, more Phase II and Phase III studies focusing on tolerability profiles, survival rates, and quality of life are warranted in order to establish optimal treatment schedules and to establish a potential role for intraperitoneal chemotherapy in the approach to unresectable peritoneal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-180
Number of pages22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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