The contemporary management of peritoneal metastasis: A journey from the cold past of treatment futility to a warm present and a bright future

Jason M. Foster, Chunmeng Zhang, Shahyan Rehman, Prateek Sharma, H. Richard Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Peritoneal metastasis (PM) is often regarded as a less frequent pattern of spread; however, collectively across all spectra of primary tumors, the consequences of PM impact a large population of patients annually. Unlike other modes of metastasis, symptoms at presentation or during the treatment course are common, representing an additional challenge in the management of PM. Early efforts with chemotherapy and incomplete surgical interventions transiently improved symptoms, but durable symptom control and survival extension were rare, which established a perspective of treatment futility for PM through most of the 20th century. Notably, the continued development of better systemic therapy combinations, optimization of cytoreductive surgery (CRS), and rigorous investigation of combining regional therapy—specifically hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy—with CRS, have resulted in more effective multimodal treatment options for patients with PM. In this article, the authors provide a comprehensive review of the data establishing the contemporary approach for tumors with a high frequency of PM, including appendix, colorectal, mesothelioma, and gastric cancers. The authors also explore the emerging role of adding hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy to the well established paradigm of CRS and systemic therapy for advanced ovarian cancer, as well as the recent clinical trials identifying the efficacy of poly(adenosine diphosphate ribose) polymerase maintenance therapy. Finally, recent data are included that explore the role of precision medicine technology in PM management that, in the future, may help further improve patient selection, identify the best systemic therapy regimens, detect actionable mutations, and identify new targets for drug development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-71
Number of pages23
JournalCA Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • cytoreductive surgery
  • hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC)
  • multimodal management
  • peritoneal metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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