Intra-peritoneal chemotherapy is a particular form of chemotherapy, which delivers drugs directly into the abdominal cavity to obtain a high local concentration of the drug in this cavity, which contains the stomach, bowels, liver, uterus, ovary, and other organs. The chemotherapeutic agents infused with this method are most commonly used for anti-cancer treatment.
Intra-peritoneal chemotherapy exposes the drug directly to the surfaces of abdominal organs, and to the peritoneum, the membrane lining the cavity and covering most organs. Several types of drugs administered in this manner are also absorbed into the blood circulation through the peritoneum, which results in systemic effects. An indwelling catheter system must be used for repeated administration of anti-cancer agents to avoid frequent abdominal wall punctures, and an intra-peritoneal implantable port is well suited for this situation.
An intra-peritoneal port can also be used to retrieve the drug from the abdomen and to sample accumulated fluid in the abdomen, such as ascites, for cytological examination.