Dr. Sennewald Medizintechnik GmbH

Hyperthermia as the Fourth Column in Oncology

“The Heat is on in Oncology” – research and the clinical application of heat therapy is currently being dynamically promoted under this slogan. While just a few years ago hyperthermia was considered a dubious therapeutic approach with an unproven effect, today numerous renowned university hospitals are using this technically sophisticated procedure for fighting cancer. It is a procedure that – and this is important to note – used in combination with standard cancer therapies only, can extend more lives than many of the medications developed over the last few years.

Radio frequency-induced hyperthermia can significantly increase the survival rate of cancer patients. In Phase III studies, where hyperthermia was combined with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy, hyperthermia improved the two-year local tumor control results for high-risk sarcoma from 12% to 37% and for melanoma from 28% to 46%; increased complete remission for breast cancer recurrence from 38% to 60%; an increase in two-year survival rate for glioblastoma from 15% to 31%; and an increase in complete remission of advanced cervical carcinoma from 57% to 83%, compared with radiation therapy or chemotherapy alone.

Therapeutic gains from hyperthermia

In summary, clinical studies and experience have shown the following therapeutic gains from hyperthermia:

  • Improvement in survival rates
  • Improvement in local tumor control and the duration of local tumor control
  • Increased remission rates
  • Reduced morbidity
  • Direct destruction of the tumor cells
  • Improved palliation and durability of palliation
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased effectiveness of other forms of treatment, without increased toxicity
  • Improvement in tumor oxygenation, which increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy
  • Destruction of both heat sensitive and radiation-resistant cells
  • Improvement in the response rate to cytostatica
  • Specific activation of the immune system
  • Expansion of the treatable range of tumors in terms of size and status
  • Increased uptake of cytostatica in cells
  • Synergistic interaction with cytostatica
  • Destruction of chemotherapy-resistant cells
  • Activation of gene therapies
  • Reduction in tumor size to enable resection and/or make resection safer
  • Reduced disfiguration due to surgical tumor resection
  • Improvement in functional results after surgery
  • Increased effectiveness in patients who have received previous radiation therapy
  • Improved results when combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy (thermoradiochemotherapy)