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Chemotherapy for appendix cancer involves the use of powerful drugs to destroy cancerous cells by interfering with their ability to grow and divide. When used for treating non-carcinoid appendiceal carcinomas, chemo may be administered immediately after a tumor is removed to help prevent a recurrence or to treat cancer that is detected outside of the appendix region. Chemotherapy is generally not effective for treating carcinoid appendiceal tumors.

What types of chemotherapy are used for appendix cancer treatment?

The main types of chemotherapy for appendix cancer are categorized based on delivery method. These include:

  • Local (intraperitoneal) chemotherapy – After a surgeon performs debulking surgery to remove as much of a tumor as possible, the surgeon inserts a tube into the patient’s abdominal cavity to allow for the delivery of chemotherapy directly to the targeted area.
  • Hyperthermic (heated) intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) – Prior to delivery, the medications are warmed to a temperature that exceeds the patient’s body temperature; this can increase the ability of the chemo to penetrate tissue that contains tumor cells.
  • Systemic chemotherapy – The drugs are administered orally or intravenously so that the chemo can enter a patient’s bloodstream to reach cancerous cells that have spread throughout his or her body.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, a multispecialty team of experts assesses each patient’s needs to determine the best strategy for delivering chemotherapy for appendix cancer. In general, a treatment plan will include a specific number of chemo cycles given over a set period of time, with one to two weeks in between each cycle to allow the patient’s body time to recover from any side effects. A patient may receive one drug at a time or a combination of different drugs simultaneously. Because we believe that informed individuals make better treatment decisions, we fully educate each patient about the medications prescribed for him or her, including their purposes and potential side effects as well as any possible alternatives.

Moffitt’s renowned research team is continually investigating the effectiveness of new medications for treating appendiceal cancer. Through our robust clinical trials program, our patients have opportunities to benefit from promising new drugs and drug combinations before those options are available in other settings. This is just one way that Moffitt is consistently challenging the odds by improving both patient outcomes and quality of life.

Moffitt offers all types of chemotherapy for appendix cancer at all locations. If you’d like to learn more about our appendiceal cancer treatment options, we provide consultations with and without referrals. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.