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UH Case Medical Center Offers New Therapy for Gynecologic Cancer Patients
Date:1/20/2012

CLEVELAND, Jan. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients with gynecologic cancer have new hope in a novel technology now offered at the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center.  A team of cancer specialists, led by Robert DeBernardo, MD, is among the first in the nation to launch a dedicated program using Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) to treat ovarian, endometrial and select other cancers.

Performed immediately following surgery, HIPEC delivers heated chemotherapy through a 'hot bath' into the abdominal cavity, where it can penetrate diseased tissue directly.  After the surgeon removes as much visible cancer as possible, a heated, a sterilized chemotherapy solution is circulated throughout the abdomen through a technologically sophisticated perfusion system to destroy the remaining cancer cells. 

"This is a new and potentially revolutionary way of treating women with gynecologic cancers, which tend to be quite responsive to chemotherapy," says Dr. DeBernardo, gynecologic oncologist at UH Case Medical Center and Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Our preliminary data and experience has been overwhelmingly positive and the therapy has been well-tolerated and effective. HIPEC promises to extend lives in a meaningful way."   

HIPEC has been used for years in patients with colon, pseudomyxomas and appendiceal cancers as well as mesothelioma, cancers that in general are not responsive to chemotherapy, but it is now viewed as a promising new treatment for gynecologic malignancy.  

UH Case Medical Center plans to launch several Phase One trials for patients this spring, including a first-of-its kind study involving the use of heated chemotherapy for ovarian cancer that has spread to the thoracic cavity, a procedure called Hyperthermic Intrathoracic Chemotherapy (HITEC). These hard-to-treat cancers typically recur an
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