Hyperthermia involves heating the body to damage and kills cancer cells. Hyperthermia cancer treatment centers are more commonly found in Germany. Only a few hospitals and cancer treatment centers throughout the United States have the equipment and the skilled oncologists that perform hyperthermia treatment.
You should discuss your options for cancer treatment with your oncologist and find out if any locations in your region provide hyperthermia therapy.
Were you recently diagnosed with cancer, and your oncologist recommends whole-body hyperthermia therapy to treat your cancer? If so, it’s time to learn all about this unique form of cancer treatment. This guide will describe the history and research behind hyperthermia therapy for cancer.
Here, you’ll also learn about the side effects, risks, and significant benefits of this cancer treatment. Read on for all the details!
How Hyperthermia works
What Research Says about Hyperthermia
Research shows that hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy can reduce morbidity and mortality when conducted in specialized cancer care centers with an effective intensive care support team.
Furthermore, a meta-analysis of 11 observational studies and two randomized studies shows that adding hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy to cytoreductive surgery enhanced the general survival of patients with ovarian cancer.
History of Hyperthermia
Hyperthermia treatment for cancer has a long history starting in 3000 B.C. when this form of therapy was associated with the sun's healing powers. The first known use of hyperthermia treatment was in ancient Egypt.
German hyperthermia cancer treatment is more common because German surgeon Carl D. W. Busch published the first research study on hyperthermia cancer treatment in 1886 after observing high temperatures from a medical condition leading a woman’s advanced sarcoma tumors to diminish.
The research from Busch led hyperthermia cancer treatment in Germany to blossom.
How To use Hyperthermia
Cancer treatment hyperthermia processes involve heating body tissue to as high as 113 °F as a method of killing or damaging cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue. The treatment poses little harm to healthy cells. The therapy is often used alongside chemotherapy or radiation.
Doctors use hyperthermia to treat cancer in several different ways. These methods include:
- Radio waves
- Probes with energy from microwaves
- placing the patient in a hot water bath or heated room
- Heating fluids put into the human body through perfusion
Risks / Side Effects of Hyperthermia
Some of the risks and side-effects of hyperthermia cancer treatment include the potential for developing blisters, burns, pain, and/or discomfort. However, the majority of healthy tissue is not damaged during the heating process.
Furthermore, perfusion can lead to blood clots, swelling, bleeding, and potential damage to the treated healthy tissues. Other side effects of whole-body hyperthermia involve nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Anti-Cancer Benefits of Hyperthermia
One of the most interesting benefits of hyperthermia treatment is its ability to assist other cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. These additional treatments tend to work better when administered alongside hyperthermia therapy.
This is an excellent treatment for cancers that underwent radiation therapy. It also works well for small tumors that doctors target locally. The treatment can strengthen your immune system and boost the immune response to destroy cancerous cells.