Modern cancer therapy has included surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and most recently, immunotherapy and hyperthermia. As neoplastic diseases are heterogeneous in regard to each cell subpopulation's response to a given therapy, a multimodality treatment approach should enhance the chances of all subpopulations of cells being killed.

The potential of hyperthermia as a treatment modality for cancer was first predicted following observations that several types of cancer cells were more sensitive to temperatures in excess of 41° than were their normal cell counterparts. Beyond these studies, there now is preclinical evidence as well as the clinical suggestion that hyperthermia potentiates radiation and/or drugs for the treatment of cancer. As most cancers refractory to conventional therapy are systemic diseases, the proposal that whole-body hyperthermia in combination with other therapies be used to treat metastatic disease is an inherently attractive approach. The basis and the practicality of this proposal is presented here with suggestions for its application to current preclinical and clinical research.


Presented at the Workshop Conference on Hyperthermia in Cancer Treatment, March 19 to 21, 1984, Tucson, AZ. This work was supported by USPHS Grant R01-CA35361 and Grant P30 CA14520-11 awarded by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services. Presented in part at the Seventy-Third Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, St. Louis, MO, April 1982 (85).

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