Refractory peritoneal cancer

Refractory Peritoneal Cancer

Peritoneal cancer, or cancer of the peritoneal, is a form of cancer that develops within the peritoneum, a thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen. This type of cancer arises when abnormal cells develop and begin to form a tumor in the peritoneum.

Refractory peritoneal cancer is a condition in which the cancer does not respond to treatment with traditional chemotherapy or radiation. Treatment of refractory peritoneal cancer is considered palliative care, meaning that it will aim to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, but not to cure the cancer.


The symptoms and signs of peritoneal cancer vary depending on the size and location of the tumor. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting


Treatments for refractory peritoneal cancer may include systemic therapies, targeted therapies, radiation therapies and surgical interventions. These may include:

  • Surgery: Surgery to remove the tumor is the most common treatment for refractory peritoneal cancer. This may be done in combination with other treatments.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that kills cancer cells and may be given intravenously or directly into the abdominal cavity.
  • Targeted therapies: These drugs work by targeting specific molecules, such as enzymes or proteins, involved in the growth of cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams of radiation to kill cancer cells.

Supportive Care

Patients with refractory peritoneal cancer may require supportive care to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Supportive care services may include counseling, nutrition counseling, pain management, physical therapy and emotional support. Patients and families may also find support from hospital social workers and supportive care programs.