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Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy: Why the Fuzz?
  1. Walter H. Gotlieb, MD, PhD
  1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, McGill University and Segal Cancer Center, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Walter H. Gotlieb, MD, PhD, Surgical Oncology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, McGill University, SMBD Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote Ste Catherine Rd, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1E2, Canada. E-mail: walter.gotlieb{at}


Objectives: Critical evaluation of the benefits of intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy.

Methods: Critical review of the literature in support of the administration of chemotherapy via the IP route.

Results: The 3 largest randomized phase III trials conducted by the Gynecologic Oncology Group and published over a 10-year period clearly demonstrated a 19% to 25% reduction in risk of death for patients treated with IP chemotherapy compared with intravenous chemotherapy.

Conclusion: Despite the differences in the treatment arms and in the drugs used, and whether the explanation lies on the local effect of the drugs on the intraperitoneal tumors or is related to the reservoir effect of the drugs stored in the peritoneal cavity, remains to be determined, but the explanation for the effect cannot refute the benefit observed in the improvement in overall survival.

  • Intraperitoneal
  • Chemotherapy
  • Ovarian cancer

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