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Pressurised Intraperitoneal Aerosolised Chemotherapy (PIPAC), a minimally invasive novel way of introducing chemotherapy into the abdomen under pressure through 1cm size ports, to treat advanced cancers of the stomach, colon and ovaries, was performed for the first time in the UAE at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital.

A 35-year-old Asian lady was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which had spread inside her abdomen making it inoperable. She received the best chance of recovery following this novel therapy. It was jointly performed by consultant surgeons Dr Zakir K. Mohamed and Prof. Amir Nisar, and Consultant Oncologist Dr Shaheena Dawood. It involves laparoscopy to access the cancer and infusion of two different chemotherapy agents under pressure on to the cancer. Dr Olivia Sgarbura, Oncological Surgeon from Montpellier Regional Cancer Institute, France, flew to Dubai to help the team perform the first procedure.

“Young patients with advanced cancer have been disadvantaged and often had to travel abroad to seek advanced therapies," says Dr Zakir Mohamed, Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon, Mediclinic Parkview Hospital. "Mediclinic aims to provide the most advanced cancer treatments locally. With the introduction of PIPAC, in addition to the recent introduction of robotic surgery, HIPEC therapy and transplant surgery at Mediclinic, the UAE reaffirms its position as a regional leader in medical care and medical tourism.”

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Dr Shaheena Dawood, Consultant Oncologist at Mediclinic City Hospital's Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, further explains: “Patients with advanced cancers restricted to the abdomen are often disadvantaged with systemic chemotherapy alone in terms of trying to attain a good response. Combining both strategies of systemic chemotherapy with novel approaches like PIPAC (which allows chemotherapy to be directly inserted into the abdomen) gives the opportunity for enhancing responses to therapy. Our ultimate goal is to be able to improve the prognostic outcome of our patients and to be able to do that we need to adopt and adapt novel strategies.

“Chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs) is generally given by injection, however PIPAC is an innovative way of exposing the cancer inside the abdomen directly to chemotherapy by a minimally invasive approach. Recovery is quick and studies have shown benefit in survival with this approach in advanced cancers like stomach (gastric), bowel (colonic), ovarian and some other cancers involving the abdominal organs.”

Prof. Amir Nisar, Consultant General Surgeon, Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, adds, “Mediclinic is leading the medical field in the UAE and Middle East in providing cutting-edge treatment to the patients.”