(BOSTON) -- Is it a dangerous method of treating cancer or a source of hope for colon cancer patients?
"Hot chemo" is a treatment that involves opening up the entire stomach cavity, removing the colon and removing tumors by hand. Then, the diseased area is directly blasted with hot chemotherapy.
Critics of the practice compare it to being disemboweled and bathed in hot poison.
"It is toxic, it is expensive," says Dr. Robert Mayer of Harvard.
He adds that no tests have been done studying hot chemo's effectiveness.
But Dr. Steve Libutti who has performed the treatment, says it can work.
"I have certainly seen patients carefully managed through the course of therapy and come out of it without major toxicities," he says.
As more patients become aware of the hot chemo treatment, more studies will likely be performed.
Copyright 2011 ABC News