Hyperthermia


los-angeles-hyperthermia-cancerHyperthermia treatment for cancer is a modality in which tumors are exposed to heat (up to 108°F) in order to make the cancer cells more susceptible and responsive to other forms of traditional cancer treatment, like radiation. Hyperthermia can be compared to an artificial fever that attacks cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved hyperthermia with radiation therapy to treat a long list of cancers.

There are currently many clinical trials (research studies) studying the effectiveness of hyperthermia for cancer treatment, with local and regional hyperthermia methods under review.

How does hyperthermia cancer treatment work?

A heated applicator is gently applied to the area in need of treatment. The tumors are exposed to temperature of 42.5ºC (108ºF) for approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Heat can improve blood circulation, and makes tumor cells more susceptible to low-dose- radiation therapy.

In addition to making some cancer cells more sensitive to radiation, hyperthermia combined with low dose radiation (IMRT) also has the potential to harm other cancer cells that radiation may not affect. Hyperthermia and radiation treatments are typically administered within an hour of each other, therefore the patient does not have to worry about making separate appointments. Hyperthermia may also have the potential to enhance the effects of certain anticancer drugs.

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Great! So why is hyperthermia so difficult to obtain? To answer that, let’s look at a portion of medical history. Surgery has been around for a good part of recorded history – even depicted in ancient tombs in Egypt and China, so it is of course an accepted method of treatment today.

Radiation therapy has been around for the better part of the last 40 years. The treatment has evolved into a highly sophisticated and accurate science, but it took several years before the medical community trusted it enough to accept as mainstream medicine.

Chemotherapy originated in the 1940s and had a good deal of difficulty gaining acceptance from the medical community in its early days, also. It wasn’t until the mid 1950s, that chemotherapy use became a standard modality of cancer treatment.

Now, like radiation therapy and chemotherapy, hyperthermia therapy is going through the period of “newness” which creates uncertainty within the medical community despite approval of hyperthermia equipment from various manufacturers.

Hyperthermia therapy combined with radiation therapy is now about 25 years old, so it should only be another 10 years before it is commonly used as other cancer treatments in the U.S! Ironically, hyperthermia is accepted as standard therapy in other countries, ie. Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Italy, and China to name a few.

What types of cancers can be treated with hyperthermia?

Hyperthermia is proving to be an effective treatment option for a long list of cancers. Some of the many types of cancers that have shown reduced tumor size in research studies and clinical trials include:

What type of heat is used in hyperthermia?

The most common sources of heat for hyperthermia treatment are:

  • Microwave
  • Ultrasound

How is hyperthermia therapy applied to tumors?

hyperthermia-cancer-treatmentThe heat therapy is applied in different ways depending on the type and location of the cancer.

Local hyperthermia – Heat is applied to the tumor either externally (just below the skin).

Hyperthermia is used to treat patients with metastatic cancer. In this treatment method, body temperature is raised to 107-108 degrees Fahrenheit.

Download a free Information Kit to learn more, or contact Bicher Cancer Institute in Los Angeles today to learn more about hyperthermia treatment for cancer.

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“Fighting cancer with heat is no secret.
But it is an untouched weapon that holds remarkable potential.”

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James I. Bicher, MD
Founder & CEO,
Bicher Cancer Institute

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