Hyperthermia and chemotherapy

For anti-cancer drugs, regional hyperthermia used in combination with chemotherapy will increase the concentration of the drug in the tumor region because of the increased blood flow caused by heat. In addition, hyperthermia has demonstrated the ability to enhance drug toxicity in cells resistant to many drugs. Hyperthermia can be employed synergistically with chemotherapy in strategies to treat high-risk tumors with the intent to cure.

Hyperthermia and radiotherapy

The combination of hyperthermia and radiotherapy increases the effectiveness of radiotherapy alone. Hyperthermic temperatures increase blood circulation in tumors as a response to the stimulus of heat. Tumor tissues that have low blood flow are resistant to radiotherapy but are sensitive to hyperthermia, while tumor tissues with high blood flow are sensitive to radiotherapy. This highly complementary interaction is a compelling reason for combining hyperthermia and ionizing radiation. The standard therapy regimen for hyperthermia in conjunction with ionizing radiation therapy is a total of 10 Hyperthermia treatments delivered two times per week at 72-hour intervals, with each heat treatment preceded or followed by a standard prescribed dose of ionizing radiation within 30 minutes of the heat treatment. During each heat treatment, an intratumoral temperature of 42.5°C is sustained for 60 minutes. The equivalent thereof for the entire course is 600, expressed in Thermal Equivalent Minutes (TEM) equal to 42.5°C, as calculated during treatment by the BSD-2000 Hyperthermia System.

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