Hyperthermia: types and usage


Human body as a mechanism of thermoregulation

Typical form of thermoregulation disorder in a human body is called hyperthermia. Factors that influence this disorder can be different. It can be external environment or imbalance of internal mechanisms of heat production and heat emission.

One should understand that a human body can maintain its optimal temperature regardless the temperature of environment.

In this video Sergei Sergeevich Kupov, a head doctor of Onco.Rehab clinic, and Oleg Olegovich Chernolikhov, an oncologist of the clinic, are talking about modulated electro-hyperthermia that is used for cancer treatment.

Independent production of energy and advanced correcting mechanisms of the balance between heat production and heat emission let maintain stable thermal conditions. It is also important that in this process the heat, produced by the body, is released outside. It prevents overheating of the body and its structures.

Healthy heat emission in the human body involves:

  • Convection (heat radiation) of produced heat into external environment. It happens thanks to the movement of warm air.
  • Heat conduction. The body transfers heat to the objects, with which it contacts.
  • Water evaporation either from the skin surface, and from the lungs while exhalation.

Extreme conditions (external or internal) can increase the body temperature, and overheating of body structures occurs.

Hyperthermia in cancer treatment

Despite all its negative consequences, hyperthermia is successfully used for cancer treatment.

During the therapeutic hyperthermia live tissues appear under the influence of high temperature. It, in its turn, destroy mutated cells or at least decrease their resistance to the exposure or chemotherapeutic medications and radioactive treatment. Unlike healthy cells, tumour cells under the influence of hyperthermia remove heat with difficulty, it leads to their death.

Exposure of high temperature during the treatment is proved to lead to:

  • death of cancer cells, while healthy cell are resistant to thermal exposure.
  • strengthening of the immune system.

World practice of hyperthermia usage cannot say exactly what temperatures are the most effective and, at the same time, safe. In Japan and Russia, while treating by means of hyperthermia, temperature can reach 43 and even 44 degrees.

In hyperthermia, as a treating method, it is important to take into account the interconnection between temperature and time of exposure. The increase of exposure time at high temperatures can lead to the significant increase of the risk of intoxication.

Types of hyperthermia

There are three types of hyperthermia:

  • Shallow – tissues are heated up to 3 cm in depth, the temperature can reach 39 degrees.
  • Local deep – the heating reaches 10 cm in depth, processing of tumours up to 2 cm in diameter.
  • Whole-body – while processing the whole body the heating temperature varies from 42 till 43.5 degrees.

Let us talk about each type of hyperthermia more detailed.

Shallow hyperthermia

In this case a significant therapeutic effect occurs if a malignant tumour is localized on the surface of the body.

If it is inside the tissues, doctors use needles, probes and radiofrequency ablation.

Local hyperthermia

Practice shows that affecting with the high temperature we can see active resistance of the body to the spread of small metastases. At the same time healthy tissues are not damaged.

The usage of local hyperthermia lets impact damaged areas point-by-point. Moreover, this procedure can be repeated every other day.

For heating stimulation during local hyperthermia can be used:

  • ultrasound energy
  • magnetic hyperthermia
  • ultrashort waves
  • high radio frequencies

In the majority of cases chemotherapy medicines are applied in combination with the local hyperthermia.

Whole-body hyperthermia

This method is usually used for treatment of metastatic cancer.

During the whole-body hyperthermia the patient is lying in the bath (or chamber) covered with heated, damp blankets. Sometimes specialists use infrared hyperthermic domes, wax. The temperature on the patient’s body starts increasing. This procedure takes place once a week.

Variants of whole-body hyperthermia

There are three variants of performing of whole-body hyperthermia:

  • Moderate – temperature increases up to 39.5 degrees; it lets the patient undergo the procedure for up to 2 hours.
  • Systemic – the exposure temperature reaches 41.5 degrees,
  • Extreme – narcosis and extremely high temperatures are applied.

The usage of hyperthermia within integrative oncology: world experience

Today modulated elecnro-hyperthermia is one of the most widespread methods of integrative oncology.

World medical statistics and practical experience prove that in countries, where the quality of medicine and lifespan are higher than in Russia, the necessity and use on integrative approach, which includes hyperthermia methods, in cancer treatment are acknowledged.


Patient on hyperthermia machine

The amount of clinics of integrative oncology, where hyperthermia is applied, is growing. It makes possible the opportunity to enhance the life quality of cancer patients.

Let us have a look at some figures:

  • Italy – 9 clinics of integrative oncology that use modulated electro-hyperthermia (1 clinic for 6.5 million people)
  • Canada – 7 clinics (1 clinic for 5 million people)
  • Hungary - 5 clinics (1 clinic for 2 million people)
  • Germany – more than 60 clinics (1 clinic for 1.5 million people)
  • South Korea - more than 60 clinics (1 clinic for 850,000 people)

Usage of hyperthermia in the clinic of integrative oncology Onco.Rehab

Applying hyperthermia within integrative oncology, doctors in Onco.Rehab clinic have proved that this method can significantly increase the efficiency of other treating methods.

For example, together with radiation hyperthermia was used for treatment of patients with prostate cancer and breast cancer at the early stage.

The combination of hyperthermia and chemotherapy also increases efficiency of the treatment.

Main goals of thermal exposure together with chemotherapy include:

  • significant increase of the patient’s immunity
  • improving the patient’s well-being during chemotherapy
  • normalization of blood characteristics

Гипертермия эффективно применяется при лечении:

  • esophageal and laryngeal cancer
  • rectal cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • cervical cancer>
  • melanoma and skin cancer
  • soft tissue sarcoma etc.

Medical practice shows that the combination of magnetic hyperthermia and PDT leads to significant synergetic effect and triggers a sequence of immunogenic death of mutated cells.

The efficiency of the treatment can also be increased by using hyperthermia together with radiology.

The usage of hyperthermia as a treating method for cancer is prescribed by the doctors of Onco.Rehab clinic individually and considering a number of facts.

You can apply for the scheduled hospitalization on our website and we certainly contact you.


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