The first week of June a new edition of the congress of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was held in Chicago with the presence of the J. Torrent Institute (JTI) medical team. Dr François Quénet, specialist in JTI digestive cancers, was presented as a principal investigator in the study “Phase III Trial PRODIGE 7, on the effects of HIPEC in peritoneal carcinomatosis of colorectal origin“.
Peritoneal Carcinomatosis, which is the spread of cancer by peritoneum in the abdomen, occurs in 20% of people with metastatic colorectal cancer. A few years ago, this phase of the disease was considered untreatable, but now, thanks to surgical procedures, 16% of success cases are achieved among patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis, who overcome the cancer. The rest of patients who do not manage to recover completely, do manage to increase their average survival while maintaining their quality of life, thanks to these techniques.
Specialized in digestive cancers, Dr Quénet has conducted this clinical trial with a total of 265 patients in France diagnosed with colorectal cancer in stage IV, between 2008 and 2014. The average age of the patients was 60 years and the first group of people was treated with cytorreductive surgery (involves removing all cancer) and the second with cytorreductive surgery plus HIPEC (involves applying chemotherapy at high temperature directly on the tumour in the surgery itself, after removing all visible cancer).
The most notable results of the trial are the following:
- In the hands of expert surgeons, the average survival of patients with colorectal carcinomatosis of digestive origin is much higher than expected (41 months vs 30 months).
- Patients treated with cytorreduction have an average survival of 41 months, a very high number compared to patients treated only with chemotherapy (the survival of this group being 20 months).
- The application of HIPEC after cytorreductive surgery contributes only benefit in a subgroup of patients (depending on the amount of carcinogenic surface that the patient has, being the patients with average level of disease those that better respond to this technique).
The study presented by Dr Quénet demonstrates the importance of the HIPEC technique and its benefits for patients with a medium carcinomatosis, although we should wait for the publication of more studies to confirm this data. In the case of patients with carcinomatosis very widespread by the peritoneum, the HIPEC does not present such positive results.
During his lecture, Dr Quénet also highlighted the importance of advanced cancer surgeries being performed by experts, since 90% of success in cancer treatment consists of a first surgery with good results.
If you are interested in learning more about HIPEC surgery, in this article we answer the most frequent questions of patients with this treatment.