Comparing Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (CRS-HIPEC) Using Mitomycin-C Versus Melphalan for Colorectal Peritoneal Carcinomatosis

  • End date
    Jul 17, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Kansas Medical Center
Updated on 17 June 2022
neutrophil count
systemic chemotherapy
hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy


The purpose of this trial is to compare the morbidity and mortality of CRS-HIPEC using mitomycin-C versus melphalan for colorectal peritoneal carcinomatosis. Morbidity and mortality will measured using the Comprehensive Complication Index (CCI) score, Common terminology criteria for adverse events (CTCAE version 4.03), and the Clavien-Dindo Classification.


BACKGROUND: Peritoneal dissemination of cancer (peritoneal carcinomatosis) from gastrointestinal malignancies, meaning tumor deposits along the inside abdominal or pelvic wall and surfaces of the intestines and organs, has historically been considered a terminal disease. Although peritoneal surface tumors can respond to systemic therapy as a sole form of treatment, patient survival remains poor and cure is considered impossible.

A plasma-peritoneal barrier makes systemic therapy relatively ineffective against peritoneal surface disease. In the 1990's, cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal therapy (CRS-HIPEC) began to be popularized as a more effective treatment.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy has several advantages. High-dose chemotherapy can be used due to the plasma-peritoneal barrier resulting in little absorption into the blood stream. Hyperthermia itself has cytotoxic effects and can increase the depth of tumor penetration by the chemotherapeutic agent up to 3 mm and moreover can potentiate its antineoplastic effects. Although CRS-HIPEC has been considered standard treatment for ruptured appendiceal neoplasms and primary peritoneal mesothelioma, in the past decade its indications have broadened to other peritoneal surface malignant processes.

Historically, morbidity and mortality associated with CRS-HIPEC was considerably higher than other complex operations, and thus its use was often discouraged. However, in recent times, especially in high-volume centers, morbidity and mortality has drastically improved. Due to recent improvements in mortality after major surgical interventions, including HIPEC, the focus has shifted toward other endpoints besides efficacy, such as morbidity, quality of life and cost.

While HIPEC is universally felt to be a vital component after cytoreductive surgery, there is a lack of consensus on the optimal regimen, especially the chemotherapeutic agent that should be used. In the United States, the most commonly used agent during HIPEC is mitomycin-C, however, it remains unknown if mitomycin-C is the optimal drug to use with regards to toxicity and survival.

Randomized prospective studies are needed comparing the toxicity and effectiveness of HIPEC with mitomycin-C to other agents.

OBJECTIVE: To compare morbidity and mortality after CRS-HIPEC utilizing mitomycin-C versus melphalan.

METHODS: In this study, patients will be randomized to one of two treatment arms: Arm 1.) Mitomycin-C initial dose of 15 mg/m2, 45 minutes into the perfusion a maintenance dose of 5 mg/m2 will be administered; or Arm 2): Melphalan 60 mg/m2 45 minutes into the perfusion. Morbidity will be measured during immediate and short-term surgical recovery (up to 90 days post-hospital discharge). Mortality will be measured beginning with the date of surgery and ending with the date of participant death.

Condition Cancer, Appendiceal, ColoRectal Cancer
Treatment melphalan, Mitomycin C
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03073694
SponsorUniversity of Kansas Medical Center
Last Modified on17 June 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent
Peritoneal Surface Disease (PSD) due to Colorectal Cancer or High-Grade Appendiceal Cancer
No clear evidence of systemic metastases
No prior CRS-HIPEC treatment
Patient has a planned CC0 (Complete Macroscopic Cytoreduction (visual)) cytoreduction
NOTE: randomization occurs during surgery and not before; if, during surgery, the PI/SubI discerns that all disease cannot be removed surgically, the participant will be considered a "screen failure", HIPEC will not be performed, and the participant will be removed from the study. If participant is removed from the study, PI / surgeon will decide if standard of care surgery will proceed
Age 18 - 75
ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) Score 0 - 2
Recorded ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologist Classification) classification - as determined by the anesthesiologist (particular value not required - only recording of the classification is required)
Medically fit to undergo complex major abdominal surgery, as determined by examination by PI / Sub-Is
Medically fit to receive systemic chemotherapy, as determined by examination by PI / Sub-Is
Adequate organ and marrow function as defined below
leukocytes ≥ 3,000/mcL (microliter)
absolute neutrophil count ≥ 1,500/mcL
platelets ≥ 100,000/mcL
total bilirubin within normal institutional limits
AST (Aspartate aminotransferase) (SGOT [Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase]) ≤ 2.5 X institutional upper limit of normal
ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) (SPGT [Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase]) ≤ 2.5 X institutional upper limit of normal
creatinine within normal institutional limits
Women of child-bearing potential and men with partners of child-bearing potential must
A woman of child-bearing potential is any female (regardless of sexual orientation, having undergone a tubal ligation, or remaining celibate by choice) who meets the following criteria
agree to use adequate contraception (hormonal or barrier method of birth
control; abstinence) prior to study entry, for the duration of study
Has not undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy; or
Has not been naturally postmenopausal for at least 12 consecutive months (i.e., has had menses at any time in the preceding 12 consecutive months)
participation, and for 90 days following completion of therapy. Should a woman
become pregnant or suspect she is pregnant while participating in this study
she should inform her treating physician immediately
Men of child-bearing potential must not donate sperm while on this study and for
days after the study treatment (surgery with HIPEC)
Exclusion Criteria Participants meeting any of the exclusion criteria at baseline will be
excluded from study participation
Current or anticipated use of other investigational agents while participating in this
Patient has received systemic chemotherapy or radiotherapy within 4 weeks prior to
study enrollment
Patient has not recovered sufficiently (PI will judge patient recovery status) from
adverse events due to agents administered more than 4 weeks prior to enrollment on
this study
Patient has history of or currently has non-peritoneal surface metastatic disease in
addition to peritoneal surface malignancy
History of allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biologic
composition to mitomycin-C or melphalan
Uncontrolled intercurrent illness including, but not limited to, ongoing or active
infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris
life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia, severe pulmonary disease, uncontrolled diabetes
severe kidney disease or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit
compliance with study requirements
Pregnant or nursing. There is a potential for congenital abnormalities and for this
regimen to harm nursing infants
Patient actively being treated for other malignancy (current active treatment of early
stage squamous or basal cell carcinomas of the skin is allowed, excluding treatment
with other investigational agents and systemic chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
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