Introduction: The safety and efficacy of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in peritoneal metastasis in palliative settings remain poorly investigated and understood. Chemotherapy-refractory patients often present with symptomatic disease. This study investigated the safety and survival outcomes of optimal CRS/HIPEC performed primarily for palliation. Methods: Palliative CRS/HIPEC was defined as asymptomatic patients who did not respond to three or more lines of chemotherapy, progression on current chemotherapy, and/or any symptomatic disease progression, including ascites, bowel obstruction, and pain. Data collected included demographics, histology, length of stay (LOS), perioperative complications, perioperative mortality, adjuvant chemotherapy use, peritoneal recurrence, overall recurrence, and overall survival. Results: The median number of lines of chemotherapy received prior to CRS/HIPEC was 3.2, and 81% of patients were symptomatic. There were no postoperative deaths and the major complication rate was 22%. Ostomy creation and abdominal wall reconstruction were performed in 24% and 21% of patients, respectively. The median LOS was 11 days and successful palliation was achieved in 97% of patients. Overall survival was 13.5 months and factors associated with prolonged survival included optimal CRS (R1/R2a; p < 0.01) and the use of adjuvant chemotherapy (p < 0.001). Synchronous liver metastasis in the colon cancer subset did not negatively impact survival. Conclusion: CRS/HIPEC was performed safely in the palliative setting in patients with symptomatic progressive disease receiving multiple lines of chemotherapy. Median survival exceeded 1 year and factors associated with longer survival were optimal CRS and adjuvant chemotherapy. Liver metastasis did not preclude survival benefit in colon cancer patients. CRS/HIPEC can be considered for palliation but should be performed at high-volume centers.
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