Peritoneal metastases: challenges for the surgeon

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Peritoneal surface malignancies (PSM) include peritoneal metastases from gastrointestinal and gynecological tumor and rare primary peritoneal malignancies. PSM have been historically considered as end-stage metastatic conditions only amenable to palliative options. Only in recent years, better knowledge of their natural history and pattern of disease-progression has evolved into the concept that PSM represent a local-regional disease stage. A novel treatment approach aiming at definitive disease eradication combines aggressive cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and perioperative local-regional chemotherapy, either in the form of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), or normothermic early postoperative chemotherapy. Such a combined treatment approach has reportedly resulted in a survival improvement over historical controls, and it is gaining an increasing acceptance as standard of care for selected patients with PSM. This article reviews the most recent literature data on the surgical and comprehensive management of PSM. Epidemiology and natural history of the different disease entities are briefly discussed. Cytoreductive surgical procedures and intraperitoneal chemotherapy administration techniques are described, focusing on the technical variants adopted in our institution. Indications for combined treatment, and outcomes following CRS/HIPEC, are addressed, including peritoneal metastases from appendiceal tumors (pseudomyxoma peritonei), colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, epithelial ovarian cancer, and rare primary peritoneum based neoplasms, such as diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, and primary peritoneal (extra-ovarian) serous papillary carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-215
Number of pages21
JournalMinerva Chirurgica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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