Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides HIPEC treatment for abdominal cancer

ABU DHABI, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of the Mubadala network, now offers an innovative form of heated chemotherapy that will benefit some of the UAE’s sickest cancer patients.

The treatment, Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy, HIPEC, is used in advanced cases of abdominal cancer where tumors have spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity, Cleveland Clinic said in a statement on Monday.

Rather than a series of intravenous infusions HIPEC uses a single dose of chemotherapy drugs delivered directly to the abdomen. The drugs are delivered to the cavity following surgery to remove all visible tumors while the patient is still in the operating room. This method allows any remaining cancer cells to be destroyed, preventing them from becoming tumors.

“In some more advanced cases of abdominal cancer, patients may have hundreds of small tumors in their abdominal lining. While these can be removed with surgery, a strong, targeted dose of chemotherapy is needed to kill any cancer cells left behind. Not only are we able to deliver the drugs directly to the affected area, it only requires a single dose, minimising the side effects for patients,” said Dr. Yasir Akmal, an oncologic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

To improve the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drugs, they are heated to 42 degrees, enabling them to penetrate deeper into tissue, destroying more cancer cells. During the infusion, the patient’s body is gently rocked to ensure the chemotherapy drugs reach the entirety of the abdominal cavity. To ensure the patient’s body remains at a safe temperature, they are placed on a cooling pad during the procedure.

Following the single treatment, patients are admitted to the hospital for around ten days while they recover. Once recovered, they can return to their lives under the close supervision of their care team.

“This treatment is truly a lifeline for people with late stage abdominal cancer. The five-year survival rate for patients who undergo HIPEC is around 30 to 40 percent, a number that would be close to zero without it. It’s a great option that gives years of a person’s life back,” concluded Dr. Akmal.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi recently performed its first HIPEC procedure, with doctors anticipating performing a dozen more in the coming year. The introduction of the treatment comes as the hospital continues to expand its range of cancer services in advance of the opening of its dedicated oncology centre.

Modelled on Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Centre in the USA, it will provide a full range of advanced treatments in a central location and house support services designed to make patients as comfortable as possible as they receive their care.


Source: Emirates News Agency

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