Science & research

Hyperthermia in medicine

The development of hyperthermia in modern medicine, initiated more than a century ago by Dr. William Coley, gained momentum in the mid-70s of the twentieth century, along with the first clinical trials implemented in the US and in Europe.
In the first place, hyperthermia, as an exogenous raising of body temperature, became interested in radiotherapists, quickly noticing in local hyperthermia an effective factor strengthening the effects of ionizing radiation.
Next, also clinical oncologists have discovered the phenomenon of interaction between cytostatics and heat, both locally and systemically.
Since the late 1990s, hyperthermia has been the object of interest of immunologists, due to the proven immunostimulatory effects.

In 2016, in the research work entitled „Hallmarks of hyperthermia in clinical therapy: translation into clinical application”, whose authors (Rolf Issels, Eric Kampmann, Roland Kanaar and Lars H. Lindner) belong to the group of the best specialists in the clinical application of local hyperthermia, the following list of six basic features of hyperthermia consisting of its pleiotropic nature of the effect on neoplasms appeared:
⦁ limits the survival of cancer cells
⦁ triggers a cellular response to stress
⦁ modulates the immune response
⦁ prevents the restoration of damaged DNA by radio- or chemotherapy
⦁ affects the neoplastic tumor neoplastic
⦁ sensitizes cancer to radio and chemotherapy

Systemic hyperthermia, also known as full-body hyperthermia, or WBHT for short (from „Whole Body Hyperthermia”), has been the subject of interest to doctors of various specialties for many years. In the case of neoplastic diseases, these are first of all clinical oncologists combining systemic hyperthermia with chemotherapy and immunologists. In turn, in relation to non-oncological indications, whole body hyperthermia is used by rheumatologists, hypertension specialists, specialists in environmental medicine and sports medicine.

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