A New Old Therapy

Investigators have found that injecting standard chemotherapy into the abdominal cavity—instead of intravenously alone—increases survival with advanced ovarian cancer by, on average, a remarkable 16 months.

Investigators have found that injecting standard chemotherapy into the abdominal cavity—instead of intravenously alone—increases survival with advanced ovarian cancer by, on average, a remarkable 16 months.

What did the experiment test, and how credible are the results? The study, published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, was a rigorous trial of 429 women who had Stage 3 ovarian cancer and were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy either intravenously or through both the bloodstream and the abdomen (via a catheter).

What was the treatment like? Patients first underwent surgery to clear the abdominal area—including around the liver, spleen and...

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