Cancer Center

Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program


New Hope for Patients with Peritoneal Carcinomatosis

Peritoneal carcinomatosis, also called peritoneal surface malignancy, is cancer that has spread to the lining of the abdomen. Until recently, patients living with this aggressive form of cancer were considered terminally ill.

That's all changed, and there's new hope for patients with widespread metastatic tumors of the abdominal cavity.

The Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program at Tufts Medical Center is one of the few Boston-area programs to offer a state-of-the-art cancer therapy called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), which improves both outcomes and quality of life.

Tufts MC was the first hospital in Massachusetts to perform HIPEC procedures to aggressively treat malignancies of the peritoneum caused by:

  • Cancer of the appendix, including pseudomyxoma peritonei
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma (cancer of the abdominal lining)
  • Sarcomatosis (a type of abdominal cancer)

What Is HIPEC and How Does It Work?

The HIPEC procedure is a form of heated chemotherapy that is delivered directly to the abdominal cavity — and therefore directly to the site of your tumors.

To perform the HIPEC procedure, our surgical oncologists first remove as many visible tumors as possible from your abdominal cavity using standard surgical methods. Following your surgery, you remain in the operating room for up to two hours while we circulate a heated chemotherapy solution throughout your abdomen.

Heating the anti-cancer drugs makes them stronger and helps kill more cancer cells. In addition, the warm fluid softens any remaining microscopic tumors so that they absorb more of the chemotherapy solution.

Is the HIPEC Procedure Effective?

If you're considering HIPEC treatment, you may be wondering if the results really are different from traditional chemotherapy. Multiple studies show the procedure can improve overall survival and, depending on the origin of the tumor, help patients live long, healthy lives. In addition, HIPEC improves quality of life, helping you feel better with fewer symptoms so you can get back to your everyday activities.

Meet Our Program Director, Dr. Martin Goodman

Martin Goodman, MD is Director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program. In addition to being one of the country's few doctors to perform HIPEC procedures, he has been ranked among the top 1% of surgeons nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Goodman is also a recipient of the Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award.

Our entire team is dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered care. In fact, the HIPEC team recently won the "Tufts MC True Blue" award, which recognizes employees who go above and beyond for their patients and the hospital. Our staff truly understands the toll cancer treatments can take on you and your family, and we're here to help you every step of the way.

As a sign of our commitment to advancing the treatment of peritoneal-based cancers, our program is actively involved in several research studies aimed at making HIPEC procedures even safer and more effective.

Download PDF document. 

Download our Program Guide and Helpful Forms >

Doctors + Care Team

Dara Borto, RD, MS, LDN, CNSC

Dara Borto, RD, MS, LDN, CNSC

Title(s): Ambulatory Clinical Nutrition Nutrition Support Specialist; Clinical Instructor, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Department(s): Frances Stern Nutrition Center, Surgical Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5273
Fax #: 671-636-2864

Oncology, surgery, pediatrics, home nutrition support

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Martin D. Goodman, MD

Martin D. Goodman, MD

Title(s): Surgeon; Director, Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, General Surgery, Surgical Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-9248
Fax #: 617-636-9095

General surgery, advanced abdominal tumors, peritoneal surface malignancies, hepatobiliary/pancreatic/colorectal minimally invasive surgical oncology

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Janet-Marie Rattigan,

Janet-Marie Rattigan,

Title(s): Administrative Coordinator
Department(s): Surgery, Surgical Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-9248
Fax #:

Provides educational information to patients pertaining to treatments, procedures, medications, and continuing care requirements. Coordinates all aspects of patient care including patient registration, maintaining up to date patient records, surgical scheduling, and pre-operative/post-operative testing

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Jennifer Sabo, NP

Jennifer Sabo, NP

Title(s): Nurse Practitioner
Department(s): Surgery, Surgical Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-9248
Fax #: 617-636-9095

Peritoneal surface malignancies

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Wasif M. Saif, MD

Wasif M. Saif, MD

Title(s): Director, GI Oncology Program; Leader, Experimental Therapeutics; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6227
Fax #: 617-636-8538

Chemistry and pharmacology of folate antagonist, experimental therapeutics, clinical trial design (Phase I and II), cancers treated include pancreas, gall bladder, cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct), anal, colon (including Rectum), neuroendocrine (carcinoid), psedomyxoma peritonei, esophagus, gastroesophageal (including Stomach), liver, unknown primary, GIST, adrenal, peritoneum, phase I clinical studies of novel cancer drugs and/or combinations

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Referring Physician Resources

We appreciate the importance of maintaining close relationships with referring physicians and will communicate with you by phone, email and fax throughout your patient's course of treatment.

Helpful Links for Patients

Below is a list of helpful links for patients with peritoneal surface malignancies: 

Tufts Medical Center

The Tufts Medical Center website provides information on the HIPEC procedure and introduces Dr. Goodman, the Director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program, as well as Joseph Laureanno, a HIPEC patient. 

Appendix Cancer Connection, Inc.

The Appendix Cancer Connection website was created by a 10-year appendiceal cancer survivor who found there was little available information on appendiceal cancer at the time she was diagnosed.  Her goal is to provide both hope and information to patients who are beginning their journey with appendiceal cancer.

Caring Bridge

Caring Bridge is a patient blog site that enables patients or a caregiver to update friends and family members on their progress.  All blog followers have to be invited or accepted by the site manager and will receive email notifications when an update has been made.

HIPEC Treatment

HIPEC Treatment is a website that provides patients with information on the HIPEC procedure.  It also introduces surgeons who treat peritoneal surface malignancies and provides links to their affiliated hospital websites.

Imerman Angels

Imerman Angels is a website that provides personalized connections and enables one-on-one support among cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers.

Neely House

The Neely House at Tufts Medical Center provides affordable bed and breakfast style accommodations for cancer patients and their families while undergoing treatment.  For patients interested in staying at the Neely House, please call the Social Work Department at (617) 636-5136 and request to speak with an Oncology Social Worker.

Oley Foundation

The Oley foundation is a support system for those on home IV and tube feeding.  Their mission is to enrich these patients’ lives through education, outreach, and networking.

PMP Awareness Organization

The PMP Awareness Organization is a group of cancer survivors and caregivers with a goal of helping patients become informed about their medical conditions.  The website was created for sharing experiences, supporting research and fundraising, and providing support to patients and their caregivers.

PMP Pals’ Network

The PMP Pals' Network helps patients who have overcome the challenges of cancer treatment communicate with one another.  They also provide personalized service to help patients prepare for and recuperate from medical treatment.

PMP Research Foundation

The PMP Research Foundation supports and funds promising research for Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP) and related Peritoneal Surface Malignancies (PSM).  They also strive to support these patients and their caregivers by providing information about managing their disease.

Make a Gift

A donation to the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy (HIPEC) Program helps make our work possible by  enhancing our facilities, advancing our goals for educating new physicians and improving the clinical outcomes and well-being of our incredible patients. 

To show your support and assist the efforts of our dedicated staff, please contact Tufts Medical Center Trust at the address below or visit the Giving website and click Give Now.

If you are submitting a donation online through the Tufts Medical Center Trust, please make sure to select “Other” when asked where you would like to designate your gift and type in Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program in the text box provided. 

All donations made to support our mission or specific program objectives of the department are tax-deductible.

Thank you for your support.

Tufts Medical Center Trust 
800 Washington Street Box #9248
Boston, MA 02111

Martin Goodman, MD on video.

HIPEC Procedure

Martin Goodman, MD discusses the types of cancers treated with this unique surgery.

Watch Video
A HIPEC patient at Tufts Medical Center.

"They saved my life"

Joseph Laureanno, a patient of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program, is grateful for the quick thinking of our exceptional surgeons and the innovative HIPEC treatment that he received.

Read his story now

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