Hyperthermia (hyperthermia treatment)


In hyperthermia, we differentiate between an active hyperthermia and a passive hyperthermia.
The active hyperthermia can be compared with the concept of fever therapy. It is a rather strong stimulating therapy strengthening the immune system. The patient himself / herself generates fever actively.

The initial therapy idea dates back to the years 1900 when Dr. Cooley tried to apply fever as a therapeutic agent against cancer by using a specific serum. As a result, various drugs have been developed, particularly bacterial lysates which could produce fever.
But who benefits from a fever therapy? Patients who show an inclination to infections. Here the therapy is used as preventive measures a secondary prophylaxis. But also patients after tumor therapy highly benefit from a fever therapy.

Another area of treatment, maybe the most interesting one, is the treatment of patients with far advanced cancer, where classical oncology has failed and for the treatment of tumors which have neither reacted to chemotherapy nor to radiation therapy.
We could measure quite considerable changes in immunological states with an active hyperthermia therapy.
Whereas the opposite therapy passive hyperthermia the patient's body is heated up by use of external sources. Here we distinguish between a whole body hyperthermia and a locoregional hyperthermia.

In whole-body hyperthermia, the body is gently heated up by infrared emitters without burning the skin. Moderate hyperthermia is when we reach a core body temperature of 39°C to 40°C. The so called extreme hyperthermia under neuroleptic analgesia (anaesthesia-like conditions) is a heating up of the body temperature to a maximum of 42°C.
The loco-regional deep penetrating hyperthermia is also used to intensify the effects of chemotherapy in areas where the heat is applied. When the locations of the metastases are limited to one or two spots only this treatment is very useful.

In general, the local hyperthermia is applied in the affected body areas at least 6 times at a rhythm of 2-days intervals.
Passive hyperthermia is no independent tumor therapy, but used in combination with and in order to strengthen cytotoxic (tumor cell-destroying) therapies. These include radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The effects of various cytotoxic drugs can be greatly increased by heat but without increasing side effects. In recent years, experiments have shown that single mistletoe drugs administered as high-dose infusion treatment, can increase their effects under the influence of heat.



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