The use of heat, known as hyperthermia or thermal therapy, is a non-invasive treatment which raises the temperature within body tissues to fight cancer. The application of heat to specific areas of cancer involvement has been shown to damage cancer cells while causing minimal injury to normal tissue. When the heat is applied to specific areas of the body, rather than the entire body, it is referred to as local hyperthermia.
How does Hyperthermia Work?
Hyperthermia treatment uses heat to preferentially target cancer cells, as they are notoriously less resistant to heat than are normal, healthy cells. In addition to providing a direct cytotoxic (cancer killing) effect, research has shown that heat also provides several other benefits:
- It stimulates blood flow to the area being heated, with the goal of increasing drug delivery
- It helps prevent, and even reverse, resistance to chemotherapy
- It stimulates the immune system to fight cancer
We include local hyperthermia as part of our chemotherapy administration. We believe that this novel approach represents a key advancement in the targeted delivery of chemotherapy.
We believe that local hyperthermia is a very safe treatment, and have found it to be very well tolerated. In contrast, whole-body hyperthermia, which heats the entire body, results in high fevers and carries with a significant risk of side effects.
Our hyperthermia device uses microwave technology to heat the intended area while minimizing the risk of collateral damage. One advantage of this approach is that the heat collects internally in the area of interest, rather than on the skin. This nearly eliminates the risk of skin burns and irritation.