Selecting Your Specialist

Although not all Appendix Cancer patients will require CRS/HIPEC, it is still recommended that all Appendix Cancer and PMP patients consult with one of these specialists before undergoing treatment because they are the most familiar with the disease and are the only physicians who treat it on a regular basis.

Currently, no objective criteria exist to determine what constitutes a “specialist” in the treatment of pseudomyxoma peritonei, appendix cancer and other peritoneal surface malignancies. Therefore, the ACPMP Research Foundation does not recommend any particular specialists nor have we created a list of recommended specialists. However, we have provided some suggestions and resources below to assist you in your search.

When searching for a specialist to treat PMP/Appendix Cancer, patients should be aware that research studies have concluded that the learning curve for the CRS/HIPEC procedure, the "standard of care" for these diseases, reaches its peak only after the completion of 130, 140,180, or even over 200 of these procedures. A patient searching for a specialist to treat PMP, Appendix Cancer or a related disease may want to inquire as to how many CRS/HIPEC procedures a surgeon under consideration has performed, as well as the number of CRS/HIPEC procedures or other complex surgical procedures that the surgeon's center has performed.

In addition to these questions, a patient may also want to consider the other questions listed on our Questions for Specialists page.

Considerations when Selecting a Specialist

  • Read his/her resume: is his/her training, areas of interest and experience in line with what you are looking for?
  • Is the facility respected, especially for specialty cancers?
  • Has the center under consideration performed a significant number of cytoreductive surgeries (at least 130+) related to the treatment of PMP/Appendix Cancer/PSMs?
  • Are outcome reports available telling prospective patients how prior patients are doing?
  • How does the treatment recommendation from the specialist compare with that of other specialists? A patient may want to consider consultations with at least 2 or 3 recognized specialists in the field before selecting a physician for treatment.

Resources for Selecting a Specialist

Many resources exist to assist patients in finding a physician with experience in treating PMP, Appendix Cancer and PSMs.

Several of the recognized leaders in the field present at and attend the biannual International Congress on Peritoneal Surface Malignancies established by Dr. Paul Sugarbaker.  The 12th International Congress on Peritoneal Surface Malignancies will take place in Beijing, China on September 18 – 20, 2020.  Many experts also attended the 10th International Congress on Peritoneal Surface Malignancies in Washington, DC on November 17 – 19, 2016.

Many recognized experts in the field also organize, attend and present at the annual Advanced Cancer Therapies symposium, presented by the Society of Surgical Oncology, formerly organized by the Koch Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The ACPMP Research Foundation Professional Advisory Board consists of recognized experts in the treatment of pseudomyxoma peritonei, appendix cancer and peritoneal surface malignancies as determined by a review of each PAB member’s membership application and curriculum vitae by the PMPRF Board of Directors.

Nearly all of the ACPMP Research Foundation grant recipients have established clinical programs at their respective institutions with extensive experience treating PMP and Appendix Cancer.

All of the institutions hosting past or future ACPMP Regional Patient-Practitioner Symposiums have experience in treating these diseases.

The American Society for Peritoneal Surface Malignancies (ASPSM) lists several recognized experts in the field as members; however, patients should be aware that the criteria for membership in the organization are not publicly available.

Several websites listed on our Helpful Links page contain their own specialist lists. When reviewing these lists please keep in mind that there are no uniform criteria used to determine what constitutes a “specialist”. Our “Considerations when Selecting a Specialist” section (above) provides some suggestions on how to conduct your search.