Appendix Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 07/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Doctors are working to learn more about appendix cancer, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease.

However, research is hampered by the rare nature of the disease. Because appendix cancer is uncommon, appendix cancer-specific clinical trials may be challenging to find. Patients are encouraged to talk with their doctors about broader clinical trials that may be open to them, such as those studying gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or colorectal cancer.

The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.

  • Enhanced delivery of chemotherapy. Doctors are looking for different ways to deliver chemotherapy to the abdomen. One approach is called hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). This is similar to the hyperthermic peritoneal (local) chemotherapy described under Treatment Options, but the drugs are delivered directly to the open abdomen during debulking surgery, instead of after surgery.

  • Combination chemotherapy. Research is underway to determine the best combinations of different drugs that are the most effective for appendix cancer.

  • New medications to treat carcinoid tumors. While most chemotherapy treatments have been less effective for metastatic carcinoid tumors, there is a lot of research ongoing for new targeted therapies for carcinoid tumors as the biology of these types of tumors is becoming better understood. 

  • Palliative care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current appendix cancer treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding appendix cancer, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Side Effects and it offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.