Benefits and Side Effects of Hyperthermia Cancer Therapy
Hyperthermia is a cancer therapy which involves application of heat around 107 degrees Fahrenheit to kill or weaken the rogue cells. It is mostly used along with the standard treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy to treat certain types of neoplasm.
Hyperthermia cancer therapy
application is not wide spread. Its local type is accepted as routine modality along with surgery to treat small tumors. However, its whole-body type is the most promising modality to treat cancer in its metastatic stage. It is still in its clinical trial phase. This article tries to gain further insight on the pros and cons of hyperthermia cancer treatment.
Benefits of Hyperthermia Cancer Therapy:
The treatment in its own right is not much effective in addressing neoplasm. Research studies have found that very less people have survived the ailment with the application of therapy alone.
However, it is very effective as an adjuvant therapy. A remedy is called adjuvant if it increases the effectiveness of the standard treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.
It adds on to the stress factor of the cancer cells in the surrounding environment and forces them to undergo apoptosis or natural death.
Its effectiveness is seen especially in early stage cases of head and neck (88 percent) , breast (82 percent) and prostate cancer (93 percent).
It is very effective when given within an hour of providing radiation therapy. While the effectiveness of radiation is 30 percent, hyperthermia enhances the benefits by 70 percent.
The five-year survival rates of projection for breast, head and neck and prostate cancer patients are 80 percent, 88 percent and 87 percent respectively with this adjuvant therapy.
It arrests abnormal division of cells, increases the acidity concentration in the environment and causes more damage to the parts of tumor by making oxygen less available. It is achieved by not allowing these rogue cells to repair the damage caused in them by the radiation.
Local and regional types of cancer hyperthermia are used along with the radiation therapy. Whole-body type of hyperthermia is used along with chemotherapy or immunotherapy modalities of cancer.
Side Effects of Hyperthermia Cancer Treatment:
The following are the unavoidable consequences of undergoing this cancer modality:
- Blisters which go away
- Burns which do not heal quickly
- Clotting of bloods
- Sun stroke
- Heart problems
Most of the cancer treatments are only partially effective and have their own set of short-comings.
Hyperthermia cancer therapy
is one such cancer remedy on which further research is still underway.
Though there is a possibility to combine this remedy with gene therapy, a major challenge is developing a device which can deliver uniform heat to the tumor and monitoring of the temperature in the tumor and the surrounding tissues.