Dr. Paul Sugarbaker, renowned oncologic surgeon specializing in mesothelioma at the Washington Cancer Institute, developed a leading-edge surgical procedure to treat mesothelioma cancer called heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy. In this procedure, as much of the tumor as possible is first removed by the mesothelioma doctor. Following the removal of the tumor, a chemotherapy agent heated to between 40°C and 48°C is administered into the abdomen. The fluid is perfused for anywhere between one and two hours and then it is drained.
High concentrations of selected drugs can be administered into the abdominal and pelvic surfaces using this technique. The other benefit associated with using this mesothelioma treatment technique for peritoneal mesothelioma is that the heated chemotherapy treatment increases the level to which the drugs can penetrate the tissues and damages malignant cells more than normal ones.