Hyperthermia segment on Channel 7 Sunrise – Grace Gawler comments Part 2.
Understanding Hyperthermia (continued)
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Local Surface Hyperthermia –In addition to the treatment with Whole-Body-Hyperthermia (WBO) and Local Hyperthermia; patient’s can be given Local Surface Hyperthermia. This therapy method is especially suited for superficial tumors such as skin cancers, superficial lymph nodes and metastases of the skin and / or the muscles of different primary tumors (e.g.Malignant melanoma, superficial metastases of the Breast).
For the Local Surface Hyperthermia the heat is generated with a water-filtered infrared radiation source (infrared A) which is able to penetrate into the tissue to a depth of around one inch (up to 2 cm). The whole procedure takes one hour. Often Local Surface Hyperthermia is given in combination with chemotherapy or immune-therapy to increase the effectiveness of the therapy.
The Local Surface Hyperthermia is a safe, non-invasive therapy without harmful side effects.
2. Local Hyperthermia For a long time it has been known that cancer cells may be damaged by heat. If you heat up cancer tissues, heat shock proteins develop, initiating immunological mechanisms of defence against cancer cells. Repair mechanisms in the cancer tissue after chemotherapy or irradiation get impaired by hyperthermia. If the chemotherapy or irradiation is performed incombination with hyperthermia these treatments will be much more effective.
As a result, in many cases it is possible to use a lower dosage of chemotherapy which means less toxicity for the patient.
In local hyperthermia, cancer tissue or metastases are heated up by using short wave irradiation with 13.56 Mhz and an energy up to 150 watts. Penetration depth is about 20 cm. In the tumour tissue, temperatures higher than 42 c (107.6 f) are achieved. While healthy cells tolerate this treatment malignant cells get damaged. The local hyperthermia has no significant side effects. During the treatment the patient stays relaxed on a warm water bed.
3. Whole Body Hyperthermia (WBH) The healing effect of fever has been known for many centuries. Whole body hyperthermia (WBH) is a new treatment using the well known principle of fever in a therapeutic way. There are different ways of action: • Fever to activate the immune system • Heat as thermic damage of cancer tissue • The thermic increase of the efficiency of chemotherapy
3 a/ Moderate Whole Body Hyperthermia– stimulates & activates the immune system. This treatment is given when chemotherapy is not appropriate.
The body core temperature is raised to about 39.5 c (103.1 f), which simulates a natural fever increasing the number and activity of natural cells, T-helper cells and cytotoxic T-cells. This treatment is also used in cancer diseases with special association to the immune system like renal-cell-carcinoma, malignant melanoma and special lymphomas. Moderate whole body hyperthermia is also used to prevent recurrences.
3 b/ Extreme Whole Body Hyperthermia – particularly in advanced or metastatic disease. Extreme whole body hyperthermia is used in combination with chemotherapy in advanced or metastatic cancer. The body core temperature is increased up to 42 c (107.6 f). Extreme whole body hyperthermia is useful in advanced cancer, especially with metastases in different organs, e.g. in the liver, bones or lungs. Together with whole body hyperthermia, chemotherapy is more effective. We start the chemotherapy at a temperature of about 41 c (105.8 f). Very often it is possible to use very low doses of chemotherapy, so side effects of the chemotherapy are kept to a minimum. Tumours or metastases resistant to chemotherapy can be successfully treated with a combination treatment of chemotherapy and whole body hyperthermia. Body core temperature is increased carefully using whole body water filtered infra-red-A-irradiation. The extreme whole body hyperthermia is a safe treatment. During the whole body hyperthermia the patient is in a special unit (IRATHERM 2000) and can be reached from all sides. To be continued…..
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