HIPEC Treatment is Viable Option for Abdominal Cancers

February 01, 2017
Feb. 1, 2017

DETROIT – An innovative but aggressive procedure that combines surgery and delivering heated chemotherapy intraoperatively to treat rare or complex cancers and championed by a Bloomfield Hills woman, is now available for patients at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, HIPEC, is a treatment option for cancers that spread to the lining of the abdomen such as appendiceal, colorectal, gastric and ovarian cancers, says David Kwon, M.D., director of cancer surgery at the Cancer Institute.

Dr. Kwon says the treatment will be named the Lindsey and Brett Finsilver HIPEC Program. Lindsey Finsilver is credited with leading a campaign to raise $1.5 million for creating a comprehensive HIPEC program at the Cancer Institute. Sadly, the Bloomfield Hills wife and mother of two children died in December after a courageous battle against a rare form of appendix cancer.

“It is a great honor to make this treatment available, thanks to the generous vision and support of Lindsey and Brett Finsilver and dozens of family members and friends who made gifts,” Dr. Kwon says. 

Brett Finsilver says it was his wife’s “sincerest wish” to launch a HIPEC Program that would offer hope for others. “This is a legacy about who Lindsey was. She was beyond grateful for the family and friends who made this wish a reality and was overjoyed to achieve it during her time with us.”

HIPEC treatment involves a two-pronged approach: complex cytoreductive surgery to remove visible cancer cells in the abdominal area followed by heated chemotherapy delivered in high doses.

“This procedure targets and destroys microscopic cancer cells that cannot be seen by the human eye,” Dr. Kwon says. “Destroying these cells prevents them from later growing into new cancer tumors. It has shown to be an effective, viable treatment option for properly selected patients.”

Adnan Munkarah, M.D., chair of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology, says the Cancer Institute is deeply grateful to Lindsey Finsilver for championing the cause for a HIPEC program.

“Our program will give hope to patients who will benefit from this specialized treatment. We are encouraged by the extended survival rate for patients who are in HIPEC treatment and see tremendous value by offering this option to patients who have had to travel out of state for treatment in the past,” Dr. Munkarah says. 

The HIPEC program comprises new equipment to perform the treatment and an integrated team of more than 30 cancer specialists, including specialty-trained surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, anesthesiologists, nurse navigators and other support staff.

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About the Henry Ford Cancer Institute
The Henry Ford Cancer Institute is one of the largest cancer programs in Michigan, providing care at four hospitals and four outpatient facilities throughout southeast Michigan. Treatment for the most complex or rare cancers and the Institute’s extensive cancer research program is anchored by Henry Ford Hospital. For more information, visit www.henryford.com/cancer.

MEDIA CONTACT: David Olejarz
David.Olejarz@hfhs.org
313.874.4094