Investigational Treatments for Ovarian Cancer

Roswell Park researchers are investigating alternative treatment methods for ovarian cancer. The use of intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy is one of the treatments developed by Roswell Park oncologists recommended for advanced disease.

IP chemotherapy uses the same drugs as intravenous (IV) chemotherapy, but they are delivered at 10 to 100 times the concentration directly to the abdomen, bathing the peritoneal cavity in anticancer agents. Research found that adding IP chemotherapy improved progression-free survival and overall survival significantly enough that the National Cancer Institute issued a clinical announcement recommending that women with Stage III ovarian cancer be considered for IP chemotherapy after the surgical removal of tumors.

To facilitate this method of chemotherapy, a port is placed in the patient’s abdomen for drug delivery. Treatment begins a couple weeks post surgery and continues once a month for six months. Because the toxicity of the drugs is higher, side effects may be more pronounced. Patients with early-stage ovarian cancer or those with certain risk factors may not be candidates for IP chemotherapy, so discuss this option, along with the risks and benefits, with your care team.