Appendix Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2020

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done to learn more about appendix cancer and how to treat it. Use the menu to see other pages.

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 appendix cancer.

Research for appendix cancer is challenging because the disease is rare. So clinical trials specifically for appendix cancer may be hard 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 neuroendocrine 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 best diagnostic and treatment options 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 in Types of Treatment, but the drugs are delivered directly to the open abdomen during debulking surgery, instead of after surgery.

  • Combining cancer drugs. There are studies looking for the best combinations of different drugs to effectively treat appendix cancer.

  • New medications to treat neuroendocrine tumors. While standard chemotherapy has been less effective for treating metastatic neuroendocrine tumors, there is a lot of research ongoing for new targeted therapies for neuroendocrine tumors as more and more is learned about these types of tumors.

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

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 TreatmentIt offers some guidance on how to cope with the physical, emotional, social, and financial changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.