Whole body hyperthermia
Procedure The objective of systemic hyperthermia is to induce the beneficial effects that fever has on the body. Usually, during 3 hours, the temperature of 40-41˚C is induced, with the possibility of maintaining it at 38-40˚C for 4-8 hours.
By applying heat to the entire body, general hyperthermia treats systemic diseases, including cancer. As a result of abnormal vascularization, anaerobic metabolism and nutrient depletion, tumors have a higher thermal sensitivity than healthy tissues.
The patient is placed on a special bed, adjustable throughout the procedure, which may last for several hours, to ensure patient comfort throughout the session. Body temperature is increased by applying infrared radiation (IR-A). The patient makes minimal effort during this procedure, he relaxes in a pleasant and comfortable environment, during the several hours of temperature application. Throughout the entire procedure, body temperature, heart rate, oxygenation, blood pressure, EKG, respiratory rate are constantly monitored.
Whole body hyperthermia is administered in cycles of 4-6-8-10-12 sessions, consecutively carried out, one week apart from one another.
Treatment with whole body hyperthermia may be applied in all stages of cancer. Countless clinical trials have studied the effects of combined whole body hyperthermia treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. These studies focused on treating several types of cancer, such as sarcomas, melanoma, head and neck cancer, brain, lung, esophageal, breast, urinary bladder, anal, liver, cervical, peritoneal cancer. Many of these studies showed a significant reduction in tumor volume, when hyperthermia was combined with other forms of treatment.
The main reasons for using whole body hyperthermia
- compared to healthy cells, cancer cells become more sensitive, even developing an intolerance to the effects of excessive heat
- the tumors do not have the capacity to adapt their blood circulation to the effects of the high temperatures, a decrease in their blood supply is registered
- temperatures higher than 41° C cause the appearance of acidosis in cancer cells, which decreases their viability and division capacity
- high temperatures cause activation of the body's immune system, with increased interferon production. Renowned German doctor Rolf Issels has noticed that hyperthermia increases the concentration of heat shock proteins (HSPs) on the surface of cancer cells, thus making them prone to the attacks of the immune system
- whole body hyperthermia may be successfully used for metastatic cancers.
The tumor mass, at its core, contains the cells that live in a state of hypoxia (with little oxygen). These cells have resistance to radiation treatment, but they are very sensitive to heat. Researchers believe that radiation therapy destroys normally oxygenated cells in the upper layers of the tumor, while whole body hyperthermia acts on those within, greatly decreasing the overall resistance of the tumor to radiation or drug treatment.
Clinical experience has shown that one of the greatest benefits of whole body hyperthermia is the increased efficiency of other forms of cancer treatment. Heating the cells at temperatures higher than the physiological ones makes them susceptible to radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
Specialized research has shown that (general) whole body hyperthermia can cause:
- maturation of dendritic cells in the brain,
- increased immune response (through the interaction of dendritic cells with CD8 T cells),
- prolonged activation of immune T cells,
- activation of monocytes and macrophages,release of tumor necrosis factor (TNFα),
- increased number of T lymphocytes and natural killer cells (NK),
- general stimulation of the body's immune response.hyperthermia stimulates the immune system to fight the tumor.
Moreover, under the influence of heat, tumor cells produce heat shock proteins (HSPs), specific to damaged cells in the body; their synthesis makes them susceptible to destruction by the immune system. Thus, whole body