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HIPEC: New Hope for Children with Cancer

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is an innovative treatment for advanced abdominal cancers. With HIPEC, high doses of heated chemotherapy aim to destroy cancer cells that remain in the abdomen after surgery.

On September 30th, 2011, the medical team of Miami Children's Hospital performed the very first HIPEC or “heated chemotherapy” surgical treatment on a pediatric patient. The hand-picked team was led by Miami Children’s Interim Chief of Pediatric Surgery Dr. Cathy Burnweit and HIPEC pioneer Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan, Associate Professor and Director of Pediatric Surgical Oncology at The MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Hayes-Jordan is believed to be the first and only surgeon in the country to perform the adult procedure on children using heated chemotherapy. The patient, 8-year-old Kelly of Miami, who has been in the care of Miami Children’s since 2006 and has undergone a series of treatments for a recurrent form of cancer in her abdomen, is doing very well following the treatment.

Kelly’s hematologist/oncologist Dr. Guillermo De Angulo, of Miami Children’s Hospital’s Cancer Center, said, “We knew we had exhausted available treatments for Kelly. When Kelly’s mother heard Dr. Hayes-Jordan speak at an on-campus lecture for the MCH medical staff, she knew HIPEC was something she wanted to attempt for Kelly. Thanks to this collaboration, we were able to make that dream come true.”

Dr. Cathy Burnweit, said, “Kelly has exceeded our recovery expectations. Our hopes are high that this intervention will offer her and her family a brighter future.” The Florida procedure will also lead to greater access to the HIPEC intervention for other children who meet the criteria for treatment.

I was commissioned by Miami Children's Hospital to document this revolutionary procedure. It was an honor for me to have been given this opportunity to be a part of this special occasion. I hope you enjoy the video...

BONUS PICS: Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures taken by Miami Children's Hospital photographer Edgar Estrada. You can view more of his work HERE.

Pre-surgery

Taping interview with Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan

It ain't easy being an independent filmmaker!

Taping interview with Dr. Cathy Burnweit

Taping surgery (and not fainting!)

Taping surgery using my tripod.

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