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HIPEC: Specialized Surgical Oncology

Some types of cancers – particularly those that have spread – can be very difficult to treat. However, when the cancer remains contained to an area called the peritoneum – the membrane lining the walls of the abdominal and pelvic cavities – one option for patients is Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC).

In this video introduction to the HIPEC procedure, meet Dr. Windham, fellowship-trained surgical oncologist and medical director of the Cancer Institute.

What is HIPEC?

  • Hyperthermic Chemotherapy refers to the chemotherapy being heated to a temperature greater than normal body temperature.

  • Intraperitoneal means the treatment is delivered to the abdominal cavity.

The procedure involves the surgeon using standard surgical methods to remove all visible tumors and then administering HIPEC by circulating a heated sterile solution of chemotherapy throughout the peritoneal cavity for a maximum of two hours. The HIPEC procedure attempts to kill any remaining cancer cells not surgically removed.

Administering chemotherapy in a surgical setting improves drug absorption to areas affected with cancer, while minimizing exposure to the rest of the body. In this way, the normal side effects of chemotherapy can be avoided.

Who can benefit from HIPEC?

HIPEC may be an option for patients diagnosed with the following types of cancer:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Low-grade sarcoma
  • Pseudomyxoma peritonei
  • Mucinous Adenocarcinoma

How can I learn more about HIPEC?

Christopher Windham, MD, a surgical oncologist and Medical Director of our Cancer Institute offers the HIPEC procedure.

Dr. Windham is the only fellowship-trained surgical oncologist in Volusia and Flagler counties, and is one of four physicians in Florida certified to perform HIPEC.

Dr. Windham earned his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and completed a general surgery residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Windham has fulfilled fellowships at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa. A fellow of the Society of Surgical Oncologists and the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Windham is also a member of the American Association of Cancer Researchers, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society of Peritoneal Surface Malignancies, the Connective Tissue Oncology Society and the Volusia Medical Society.

The author of numerous articles, book chapters and abstracts, Dr. Windham has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Gynecologic Oncology, and the Journal of Surgical Oncology. Additionally, he has presented clinical and scientific cancer research at many national and international conferences.

To learn more about HIPEC or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Windham, call (386) 231-4000.