What is hyperthermia?

Research has shown that high temperatures can damage and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues (1). Hyperthermia (also called thermal therapy) is a type of cancer treatment in which body tissue is exposed to certain range of radio wave or microwave.

The range of frequencies selected is absorbed by cancer cells but not absorb by normal cell and the temperature of cancer mass elevated up to 41 – 43oC. The killing effect of cancer cells is by denature protein structure such as DNA of cancer cells and damaging proteins and structures within cells (2), Cancer cells will eventually die, hence cancer mass will shrink. Hyperthermia is under study in clinical trials in many university hospitals all over the world.

Local hyperthermia is almost always used in combination with other treatment such as dendritic cell injection, stem cell injection, total body hyperthermia, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Photo of local hyperthermia.

These studies have focused on the treatment of many types of cancer, including sarcoma, melanoma, and cancers of the head and neck, brain, lung, esophagus, breast, bladder, rectum, liver, ovary, uterus, cervix, and peritoneal lining (mesothelioma) (1, 3?7). Many of these studies, have shown a significant reduction in tumor size when hyperthermia is combined with other treatments (1, 3, 5, 6, 7). Many of these studies have shown increased survival in patients receiving the combined treatments (3, 5, 7).