Hyperthermia, or thermal therapy, is a non-invasive gentle treatment, raising tumor temperature to approximately 108 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature similar to high fever. The heat treatment alone kills many cancer cells since many tumor cells are inherently “stressed” due to poorly structured blood vessels. Without proper blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the tumor are restricted. Heat also helps to expose the tumor antigens (a substance that induces an immune response) so an effective immune response can be mounted by the immune system of the body.
Radiation treatments become decidedly more effective (in some cases improving the results by 44%) when combined with hyperthermia. Radiation requires oxygen to effectively destroy tumors. Hyperthermia causes the dilation of the tumor blood vessels, bringing more oxygen rich blood to the tumor, which increases the availability of oxygen. Radiation interacts with oxygen to create chemicals that cause the death of cancer cells. The higher the oxygen levels, the more effective the radiation treatment will be. Hyperthermia also disables the tumor cell’s ability to repair the sublethal damage caused by radiation, which causes additional tumor cell death.
Chemotherapy treatments have been clinically shown to improve when hyperthermia treatments were added because the heat enables more chemotherapeutic medication to get to the center of the tumor. Hyperthermia will cause the blood vessels to the tumor to dilate, bringing more medication into the center of the tumor and making the tumor cell membrane more porous, so even more medication can reach and destroy tumor cells.
You can read more about Hyperthermia here: www.ThermalOncology.com