Looking up: Recent advances in understanding and treating peritoneal carcinomatosis

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery

Publication Date


Document Type



Antineoplastic Agents; Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Carcinoma; Combined Modality Therapy; Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures; Humans; Hyperthermia, Induced; Infusions, Parenteral; Palliative Care; Peritoneal Neoplasms; Treatment Outcome


Neoplasms | Oncology | Surgery


Until recently, a diagnosis of peritoneal carcinomatosis was uniformly accompanied by a grim prognosis that was typically measured in weeks to months. Consequently, the management of carcinomatosis revolves largely around palliation of symptoms such as bowel obstruction, nausea, pain, fatigue, and cachexia. A prior lack of effective treatment options created the nihilistic view that currently exists and persists despite improvements in the efficacy of systemic therapy and the evolution of multimodality approaches including surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy. This article reviews the evolution and current state of treatment options for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. In addition, it highlights recent advances in understanding the molecular biology of carcinomatosis and the focus of current and future clinical trials. Finally, this article provides practical management options for the palliation of common complications of carcinomatosis. It is hoped that the reader will recognize that carcinomatosis is no longer an imminent death sentence and that through continued research and therapeutic innovation, clinicians can make an even greater impact on this form of metastatic cancer.


peritoneal, carcinomatosis, hyperthermic intrape ritoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC), cytoreduction, ascites, hyper-thermic, chemoperfusion

DOI of Published Version



CA Cancer J Clin. 2015 Jul-Aug;65(4):284-98. doi: 10.3322/caac.21277. Epub 2015 May 4. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

CA: a cancer journal for clinicians

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID