A recent oncology study has shown that delivering Oxaliplatin through a new spray-on technique may increase in the survival of advanced peritoneal mesothelioma with few side effects.

Oncologists from France, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland studied the effectiveness of delivering Oxaliplatin using Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC).

The oncologists found that this technique, known as PIPAC-Ox, is safe and offers increased survival chances for patients suffering from advanced-stage peritoneal mesothelioma and other peritoneal diseases. The scientists published their findings in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology on May 9th.

PIPAC found to be both effective and safe

The PIPAC delivery method makes it easier to deliver Oxaliplatin, or other drugs, to confined and difficult to reach areas in the body such as the abdominal and chest cavities.

In this method, the chemotherapeutic drug is injected into the abdominal cavity during laparoscopic surgery. In laparoscopic surgery, an optical instrument helps in viewing the organ. Anti-tumor medication is then sprayed directly onto the cancerous tissue.

PIPAC is especially suited for treating advanced peritoneal diseases, including ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, appendix cancer, colon cancer, and peritoneal mesothelioma.

Prior studies have already shown that this aerosol chemotherapy technique is highly effective at reducing malignant mesothelioma tumors. In a study in BMC Cancer, published by BioMed Central, a team of German researchers found that the PIPAC is also safe and effective for patients with a history of chemotherapy and prior operations.

"Delivering repetitive PIPAC cycles to patients with end-stage MM [malignant mesothelioma] of the abdominal cavity which had previous major abdominal surgery and systemic chemotherapy is feasible and safe,” the researchers wrote. “MM of the peritoneal cavity is highly sensitive to PIPAC, achieving significant tumor regression.”

Treating Peritoneal Mesothelioma using Oxaliplatin through PIPAC

Oxaliplatin is a platinum-based drug belonging to the same family as cisplatin. The drug is commercially available as Eloxatin and is commonly given via intravenous injection. But delivery via injection has been shown to cause several side effects, including abdominal pain and toxicity. The recent study in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology showed PIPAC to be effective in delivering the drug to hard-to-reach areas of the body.

PIPAC-Ox gives peritoneal mesothelioma patients a leg up

Studies have now shown that PIPAC-Ox offers patients with advanced stages of peritoneal mesothelioma an advantage because of its effectiveness and relative lack of side effects.

Because PIPAC-Ox is a targeted chemotherapeutic treatment, there is a lower chance that patients will develop abdominal pain or toxic infection. The body also absorbs the Oxaliplatin into the cancerous tissue more efficiently when the drug is an aerosol, spray-on form than when it’s delivered intravenously. Repetitive PIPAC-Ox treatment can help slow tumor growth. The minimum hospital stays for patients after receiving PIPAC-Ox treatment is also shorter than for other treatment options.

PIPAC-Ox also effective for treating peritoneal cancers

Researchers studied the effect of the treatment on 101 advanced peritoneal cancer patients.

Only 23 of the patients (22.7 percent) experienced abdominal pain after the operation. In only three of the cases was this pain severe enough that doctors decided to switch treatment plans. The researchers observed improvements in cancer control in more than half of the patients with unresectable peritoneal cancer—cancer that couldn’t be fully removed through surgery.

"Oxaliplatin-based PIPAC appears to be a safe treatment that offers good symptom control and promising survival for patients with advanced peritoneal disease,"

The study’s authors concluded.

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