New treatment at Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center to help those with a difficult diagnosis

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a difficult journey, but finding the right treatment can sometimes be just as difficult. Today, surgical oncologist, Jill Onesti from the Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center shared details about a new treatment that can help those who have received a difficult diagnosis.

HIPEC stands for heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy and is a specialized surgery where we remove all sites of cancer throughout a person's abdomen and pelvis.  This can be very extensive.  After the cancer has been removed, Mercy's team brings in catheters to allow fluid to circulate through the belly.  They can control the temperature and add chemotherapy to direct touch the surfaces at risk for cancer recurrence.

The benefits of HIPEC are best for patients who have a cancer that has spread to the surface, or outer lining of organs in the abdomen and pelvis.  It does not treat cancers that have spread to the lungs and is not as effective for spread deep into other organs.

The combination of aggressive surgery with direct chemotherapy allows the complete removal of tumors that are otherwise not well treated with traditional IV chemotherapy.  HIPEC was designed to offer cures to patients who had very few other options.  This is especially important when medical professionals can offer patients years of living cancer free as opposed to only getting chemotherapy or other treatments to try to manage symptoms.

This is a pretty exciting time for research and advancement of HIPEC.  The specialists in Michigan who offer this procedure have come together to work on improving care, coordination, and access to HIPEC centers.  The group is called Michigan HIPEC oncology collaborative – or MHOC.  It was just formed this year, but we have very high expectations that we can work together to achieve better patient outcomes.

Cancer is a difficult journey. Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center is a comprehensive cancer care center located in Grand Rapids that's dedicated to supporting the health of you and your loved ones. With renowned specialists, leading cancer-fighting technology and complementary medicine, our mission is to provide you with a level of care that will restore your health. To find out if HIPEC is right for you, please call 616-685-6714



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