Oxaliplatin [1,2-diaminocyclohexane (dach)-Pt complex] is a platinum anticancer drug which is mainly used in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer, particularly in Heated Intraoperative Chemotherapy (HIPEC) for the treatment of colorectal peritoneal carcinomatosis. In order to better understand the penetration of oxaliplatin in treated tissues we performed a direct imaging of tissue sections from HIPEC-like treated rat kidney using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry. This procedure allowed the detection and localization of oxaliplatin and its metabolites, the monocysteine and monomethionine complexes, in kidney sections. Specifically, oxaliplatin and its metabolites were localized exclusively in the kidney cortex, suggesting that it did not penetrate deeply into the organ. Based on these results, an imaging analysis of human tumors collected after HIPEC is currently in progress to assess the distribution of oxaliplatin and/or metabolites with the aim of defining clinical conditions to improve drug penetration. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.