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'Hot Chemotherapy Bath'

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Cancer therapy is getting aggressive. Some doctors are now trying what's being called a "hot chemo bath," which some patients liken to "being filleted, disemboweled and then bathed in hot poison," says The New York Times' Andrew Pollack. The therapy combines extensive abdominal surgery with heated chemotherapy, and though it was once shunned by most medical centers, it is now being offered by an increasing number of hospitals to patients with common colorectal or ovarian cancers, he says. Critics say there's little evidence the procedure works, but some patients see it as their only hope for survival. It's officially called cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. "Recent converts include University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and even Massachusetts General," Pollack says. "The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is looking at it, according to people in the field. Advocates predict that the number of procedures could grow to 10,000 a year from about 1,500 now."

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