The development of a peritoneal surface malignancy program: A tale of three hospitals

Umut Sarpel, Marcovalerio Melis, Elliot Newman, H. Leon Pachter, Russell S. Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An increasing amount of evidence supports the use of cytoreductive surgery and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for the treatment of select patients with carcinomatosis. The care of such patients is optimal at centers where physicians with expertise in the recognition, treatment, and follow-up of carcinomatosis collaborate to manage issues particular to patients undergoing HIPEC. New Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Programs should be introduced to meet the growing interest in this field; however, there are few guidelines available on how to propose, develop, and safely implement them across different hospital models. A new Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program was initiated at a large academic medical center affiliated with three hospital systems serving distinct patient populations: a private hospital, a public hospital, and a Veterans Affairs hospital. Ten groups were identified as playing key roles in program implementation. Program approval was successfully obtained at all three hospitals. The initial two-year experience included a total of 20 cases across the three sites. Six of these cases were aborted due to high tumor volume, most of which (4/6) were at the public hospital. No 30-day mortalities occurred. Hospitals vary significantly in their approval process and timeline for new Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program development. Patient populations differ in their awareness of HIPEC as a therapeutic modality. Public hospitals may serve patient populations with more advanced disease presentations. Careful coordination by the surgical oncologist with ten key groups allows for the safe introduction of a complex procedure within varied hospital models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-675
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carcinomatosis
  • Cytoreductive surgery
  • Heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy
  • Program development


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