What is IP chemo??

I know what IV is...and I think I know that IP is where they put a port into your body so they don't have to fuss with your veins; right??
My cardiologist has an issue with this, because I have an implantible defibrillator. He's worried that having more wires going to my heart will up my chances of a cardiac infection...but my first round of chemo tore my arm up immensely.
I'm SO confused!! When I give my blood, they all love me because it's so easy to find my veins. But if they want to put anything into them, my veins are useless!!! Alot of me wants to tell my oncologist that I will only do IP as a final last resort, meaning my arms are going to look like hell before I allow them to do yet another surgery on me. I know cancer is horrible, but my mind is still stuck on my heart condition because it's been such a huge part of my life (hereditary: mom died getting a transplant; both of my children have it as welll. LONG family history of this)

Am I right on what IP is? Does anyone know of ANY other way?

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I had IV & IP chemo. IP stands for intraperitenil. They surgically place a port into your abdomen for the chemo to go directly to the abdomen and be absorbed through the organs. It is round and has hoses sticking out of it like a soaker hose. I had only one dose IP but others have had many. I received all the rest of my chemo in my own veins. I did not have an additional port placed in my chest for my IV chemo. Good Luck to you.

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The port for chemo is placed near your shoulder blade. I chose not to have one, but many women on here love having one. If I were you, I would discuss the pros and cons further with your gyn/onc and your cardiologist. They may need to confer.

The IP port is totally different and is only for delivering chemo directly to the abdominal cavity. Now my port had only one catheter at the end, about the diameter of a small straw. I am not familiar with the one like cherly84 had.

After mine was removed, I brought it home, so I know only what mine looks like. It is metal, teardrop shaped, with the rounded end being about the size of a nickel. There is a hard rubber diaphragm, about the size of your pinky nail, that is punctured for the chemo. They will give you some Lidocaine cream (brand name is Emla) to apply ahead of time, so you don't feel the needle stick, just the sensation. I promise it won't hurt if you give the cream enough time. The label says 30 minutes, but I had better luck with an hour. I guess we differ. Mine was attached to a rib bone, and I think that is pretty standard.

Hope that wasn't too confusing! I did 6 treatments IP and really, it went textbook perfectly.

The stats on IP chemo for those who are eligible (stage 4 is not, for example, and you have to have been optimally debulked) are pretty impressive. Even thogh i did recur, there is no sign of tumor activity in my abdominal cavity, so I think the IP is to thank for that.

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JacksonsMommy, it sounds like you're getting a PowerPort and intraperitoneal (IP) port confused. The PowerPort, placed on your upper chest near your collarbone, has a catheter (thin tube) that runs into your carotid artery (in your neck) and is used both to deliver many different kinds of chemo and to draw blood for lab work. It is helpful because it means that nurses don't need to hunt and peck for a viable vein in your arm, especially important if you're dehydrated from chemo or vomiting or diarrhea, and makes the process easier. Not everyone chooses to have a port placed, and it's entirely up to you. I didn't want one for a long time, and my first three chemo regimens I used veins in my arms. They're shot, now, and I'm SO GLAD to have a PowerPort.

The procedure to install a PowerPort is outpatient and done under conscious sedation - it's really not a big deal. As you've discovered, it's a lot easier to take blood OUT of a vein in your arm than to pump chemo IN. You can always change your mind!

IP chemo is a specific chemo regimen that delivers the chemotherapy directly into your abdomen. The doctor installs a port on your ribcage right below where your bra band sits; its catheter delivers the chemo right to your abdominal cavity. IP chemo is usually given in concert with IV Taxol, on different days. This port is NOT an option, and is the only way to receive this kind of chemo, which has been proven much more effective (leading to longer remission) than standard IV chemo alone. But it is ultimately your decision whether to go through with IV/IP chemo.

Good luck with your decision - keep asking lots of questions!


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Hi Jacksonsmommy, I had an IP port. It was placed into the abdomen and the chemo was administered directly into it. The nurses accessed it by sticking a needle into the cork that was just under my skin. I too was given the Lydacaine cream to numb the area before they stuck the needle. After the chemo was administered I had to roll from side to side every 15 minutes for 2 hours to slosh the chemo around the abdomen. I had a little bloating but not too bad. Just had to drink lots of water afterwards. I also had a HOHN catheter in my chest just above my breat. That had 2 ports that came out, one for chemo to go in, the other for them to draw the blood. It was great not having to be poked constantly. I had to go once a week to my local hospital to have the ports flushed and the bandage changed. I had my surgery and treatments 2 hours away in St Louis. I had no real side effects from the chemos. A little nausea but that went away with the meds they gave me. Twice I had low white blood counts and just had to be careful when going around places with alot of people. I highly recommend the hohn catheter or powerport which alot of the other ladies had. And if offered to you, the IP port. GOod luck and I hope we have all answered your questions and put your mind at ease a little bit more. Lord knows every little bit of at ease sure helps these days. Keep us posted. Your sister in the ovca battle

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I was definitely getting the IP and powerport confused! Honestly girls, it sounds like I don't want either one. I know this is going to be hard on my veins and maybe I'm just being cynical, but it seems this is all about the nurse's ease. I have tattoos, I've had lots of owies....pain doesn't scare me that bad!! lol what does scare me is knowing that if I have a port in my cartoid artery would be a huge risk. And I don't want to deal with both heart and cancer problems at the same time...

Is there any way to make my veins stick out more, besides raising my BP??? I can get really mad, and all my veins will pop out, but I doubt that would help much! lol
Thank you SO MUCH you guys : )

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At my 2nd and 3rd chemo infusion, the oncology nurse couldn't find a vein in my arm due to swelling from all the steriods I was one. The only thing that worked was running your hand under warm water for about 10-15 minutes. That brought the vein right up and I was able to get the IV.

Also when the IV was in the taxol started, my arm started to burn so the oncology nurse wrapped a heated pack around my IV which took it right away.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

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I had both the power port and IP port. The one that is in the chest was right above my rightbreast. IT is not attached to the caratoid artery, but your I think it is called cava supina artery. The IP port was in my right lower abdomen. Chemo was put through each port on different days. also from the chest port they could draw blood. I also used the EMLA cream for numbingbefore hand, but if forget it, I just used ice. I finished my six rounds of Cisplatin/Taxol last September and had both ports removed in October. I know some people leave them in for years, but to me it was a reminder of cancer, and since I dont have it anymore, I didn't want a reminder of it. If at all possible, I would absolutely have both ports installed. This is supposed to be the gold standard for ovarian cancer.

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Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (IP), a treatment in which anti-cancer drugs are put directly into the abdominal cavity through a thin tube, has been trying to achieve progress by changing the method of drug delivery.

Intraperitoneal therapy may be a good idea, provided there are no post-op adhesions with areas of loculations. It is more often useful in the first-line treatment setting, before such adhesions form.

A Gynaecological Oncology Group (GOG protocol 172) study had been reported in the January 5, 2006 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, which studied its impact with over four hundred women with stage three disease, optimally debulked and randomized to intra-peritoneal or intravenous drug therapy.

Ovarian cancer patients are now living longer than they did in the past, but this is almost certainly owing to better and more aggressive surgery. This study could be an indication of the "right chemotherapy," but using the "wrong drugs."

Patients in the intraperitoneal therapy group had more toxic events than women in the intravenous therapy group. Given the increased toxicity associated with intraperitoneal therapy, an important secondary outcome of this study was the quality of life. Patients in the intraperitoneal therapy group reported worse quality of life before cycle 4 and three to six weeks after treatment was completed than did those in the intravenous therapy group.

Of the eligible patients assigned to the intravenous therapy group, 90% completed six cycles of chemotherapy, and 83% received all six cycles of the assigned intravenous therapy. Of the eligible patients assigned to the intraperitoneal therapy group, 83% completed six cycles of chemotherapy, and 42% received all six cycles of the assigned intraperitoneal therapy. For patients in either group who had intolerable toxic effects related to cisplatin, that drug was switched to intravenous carboplatin.

The primary reason for discontinuation of intraperitoneal therapy was catheter-related complications. There were nine treatment-related deaths, four in the intravenous therapy group and five in the intraperitoneal therapy group. All nine treatment-related deaths were attributed to infection.

With only 42% of the women being able to finished the rather arduous trial, perhaps abdominal chemo is the right therapy, but they were using the wrong drugs? All the more reason to test the tumor first!

Source: Cannistra, S.A. (2006). Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Comes of Age. New England Journal of Medicine 354: 77-79


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