Eur J Cancer. 2008 Nov;44(17):2546-54. Epub 2008 Sep 11.
University of Munich, Campus Grosshadern, Medical Clinic III, Munich, Germany.
The hallmarks of hyperthermia and its pleotropic effects are in favour of its combined use with chemotherapy. Preclinical research reveals that for heat killing and synergistic effects the thermal dose is most critical. Thermal enhancement of drug cytotoxicity is accompanied by cellular death and necrosis without increasing its oncogenic potential. The induction of genetically defined stress responses can deliver danger signals to activate the host's immune system. The positive results of randomised trials have definitely established hyperthermia in combination with chemotherapy as a novel clinical modality for the treatment of cancer. Hyperthermia targets the action of chemotherapy within the heated tumour region without affecting systemic toxicity. In specific clinical settings regional hyperthermia (RHT) or hyperthermic perfusion has proved its value and deserve a greater focus and investigation in other malignancies. In Europe, more specialised centres should be created and maintained as network of excellence for hyperthermia in the field of oncology.