Despite its widespread use, until recently, there was no randomized evidence for hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) versus surgery without HIPEC for ovarian cancer. Recently, a Dutch study (OVHIPEC) reported benefits in both progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) gained from the use of HIPEC at the time of interval debulking surgery (IDS) for stage III ovarian carcinoma, whereas a Korean randomized trial failed to show a benefit of HIPEC for patients with ovarian cancer undergoing primary debulking surgery or IDS. In colorectal cancer, 2 randomized trials failed to show an improvement in survival with HIPEC. In addition to these contradictory results, there are a number of aspects of the Dutch OVHIPEC trial in ovarian cancer that can be criticized. Some criticisms include a reduction of the number of patients needed to be randomized because of too slow accrual; much lower PFS and OS in both arms than expected according to the statistical plan; the small size of the study, with imbalances between the 2 arms (eg, more low-grade tumors in the HIPEC arm); the timing of randomization before the start of IDS; the lack of clear inclusion criteria for neoadjuvant chemotherapy; and the heterogeneity of the results, with the largest effect shown at the smaller centers. Furthermore, it is questionable whether the adverse events were reported completely. In conclusion, data about HIPEC for ovarian cancer in general are not convincing, and they do not change the standard of care, which remains for ovarian cancer surgery and intravenous chemotherapy.
© 2019 American Cancer Society.