"Hot Chemo Bath" Cancer Treatment Lessens Side Effects of Traditional Chemotherapy
An aggressive cancer treatment is gaining popularity, and it comes with less harmful side effects than traditional chemotherapy. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s a reality at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, where surgical oncologist David Arrese has been performing this treatment.
The treatment, often referred to as HIPEC or “hot chemo bath”, is used for patients with certain abdominal and gastrointestinal cancers and involves sloshing heated chemotherapy drugs throughout the abdomen – a process sometimes called “shake and bake”. Broken into two parts, the entire procedure takes about 8-10 hours to complete. The first part involves the removal of all visible tumors in the abdominal cavity. The second part involves the actual chemotherapy treatment. During this step, the chemotherapy drugs get heated to 108 degrees Fahrenheit – a temperature hot enough to kill cancer cells, but leave healthy cells unaffected. Once administered, surgeons shake the abdomen to make sure the chemo covers all tumor cells.
Because the chemotherapy is removed once the treatment is over, patients do not experience traditional side effects like hair loss. And as one patient learned, it’s a treatment that’s made her fight against cancer a successful one.