Whole Body Hyperthermia Cancer Treatment
Whole Body Hyperthermia (WBH) is a medical treatment that involves raising the body’s core temperature to promote healing and stimulate the immune system. This therapy has been used for centuries, and recent research has shown its potential to treat a wide range of medical conditions.
An increased core body temperature leads to the production of proteins (cytokines), which play a vital role in the
immune system. Production begins shortly after the application of whole-body Hyperthermia and only normalizes after
One of these proteins is interferon-gamma. It is an immunostimulant, and its presence increases the ability of the
immune system to fight infection and disease. It also has anti-tumour properties.
In addition to interferon-gamma, the production of interleukin-2 increases too. It is responsible for the growth and
production of many different immune cells. Interleukin-2 activates, for example, the natural killer cells that can
detect and kill tumor cells.
It gets used chiefly in combination with other therapies to improve treatment efficacy and response rates. In
oncology, Hyperthermia can act as a potent sensitizer, especially for chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Hyperthermia usually means a body temperature that is higher than a normal one. Illnesses such as fever or heat
stroke cause high body temperatures.
But Hyperthermia can also refer to heat treatment–the carefully controlled use of heat for medical purposes. Here, at
Verita Life, we will focus on how heat gets used to treat cancer.
Whole Body Hyperthermia Immune Treatment?
When cells in the body get exposed to higher-than-normal temperatures, changes take place inside the cells. These
changes can make the cells more likely to be affected by other treatments, such as radiation therapy or
Very high temperatures can kill cancer cells outright in more focused approaches, such is the case with Local
Hyperthermia, but they can also injure or kill normal cells and tissues. Therefore, it is necessary to control
hyperthermia carefully, and only doctors experienced in using it ought to do it.
Our Medical Director, Dr. AdemGünes, is a well-known pioneer in Hyperthermia. Verita Life’s patients benefit from his
unique protocols. We can help patients get all the tools they need to help obstruct and destroy cancer cells in a
controlled and safe environment.
Currently, advanced technology allows for the precise delivery of heat, making hyperthermia an effective treatment
option for various types of cancer.
How Is Hyperthermia Used to Treat Cancer?
Depending on the extent of the treated area hyperthermia, treatment can be for the local, regional or whole body.
Heat applied to treat a small area having a growth like a tumor is called local hypothermia. Radio waves, ultrasound
waves, microwaves, and other energy forms are used to heat the affected area in this process. The application of
high temperatures damages the cells and is called thermal ablation. Using small temperatures does not cause much
damage and is called mild hyperthermia.
High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound
The use of ultrasound waves is highly focused and is called High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound, and in short, HIFU.
We can make heat applications in various ways:
- Aiming heat energy waves from a machine outside the body at a tumour near the body surface.
- Putting a probe like a thin needle right into the tumor. The energy released from the tip heats the surrounding
RFA, short for radiofrequency ablation, is the most commonly used thermal ablation, which uses high-frequency radio
waves. The treatment gets done by inserting a probe into the tumor for a short while. It creates a lot of heat, thus
destroying the cells around the insertion spot. There can be a scar on this spot even after removing the dead cells.
This process usually gets done as an outpatient treatment for tumors where surgery is not a possibility. It is
sometimes used as an additional treatment during other methods like chemotherapy, surgery, inflation therapy, and
more. Usually, RFA is used to treat liver, lung, and kidney tumors.
During this process, an organ, body cavity, or limb gets heated. The temperature may not be high enough outrightly
to destroy the cancer cells. Usually, it gets used as an accompaniment during radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
There are different methods deployed in regional hyperthermia.
One of the approaches is isolation perfusion. The blood supply of the affected part is isolated from the rest of the
circulation. This blood gets pumped into a heating device, and upon getting heated, pumped back. Chemotherapy gets
done at the same time. Usually, this is used to treat melanomas and sarcomas.
In another approach called continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion during surgery, the heated chemotherapy drugs
are circulated through the peritoneal cavity. It helps treat some kinds of cancer.
One more approach is deep tissue hyperthermia. By placing devices over the organ’s surface, heat gets produced by the
high-energy waves. These get directed to the affected area during treatment.
Whole Body Hyperthermia
This treatment method is studied to make chemotherapy for cancer treatment more effective. Warm water immersion, hot
blankets, or thermal chambers are used to raise the body temperature. Normally it is done under anesthesia or
sedation. During this process, the immune cells seem to become more active for a few hours raising the levels of
cell-killing compounds in the blood. Studies on this are ongoing to design and help boost the immune system, which
can help fight cancer better.
Pros And Cons of Hyperthermia
Just like any process, hyperthermia also has advantages and disadvantages. There can be some side effects, and they
are dependent on the technique used and the body part that gets treated. Sometimes the side effects can be serious;
but most times, they do not last long.
Local hyperthermia is a non-surgical method to eliminate tumors, but its effectiveness relies on the precise use of
temperature ranges. However, measuring the temperature inside a tumor is challenging and different body parts
respond differently to temperatures. Despite these challenges, researchers continue to study better methods to use
With the application of regional and whole-body hyperthermia, the other forms of cancer treatment are more effective.
Destroying cancer cells becomes easier when this method gets used along with other methods. It is essential to have
temperature control in place to get optimum help from hyperthermia.
Local hyperthermia can sometimes cause pain at the site of its application.
There can also be other symptoms like bleeding, infection, blood clot, burns, swelling, and blistering. There can be
minor damage to the surrounding skin, muscles, and nerves.
The side effects of regional and whole-body hyperthermia depend on the temperature and the body part that gets
treated. The symptoms seen are vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. There can sometimes be serious side effects, like
problems with a few major organs like the heart and blood vessels.
With treatment plans being evolved and making the necessary improvements in them, we observe fewer side effects now.
The Future of Hyperthermia
It is a promising way of cancer treatment improvement. Hypothermia being an experimental technique presently, is not
offered at all cancer clinics. But it will evolve with time, and hopefully, a better treatment plan will be deduced
in the future for use at most places treating cancer of all body parts.