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Heat therapy for cancer



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Anticancer Res. 2014 Feb;34(2):565-74.  Fighting fire with fire: the revival of thermotherapy for gliomas.  Lee Titsworth W, Murad G, Hoh BL, Rahman M

In 1891, an orthopedic surgeon in New York noted the disappearance of an inoperable sarcoma in a patient after a febrile illness.

This observation resulted in experiments assessing the utility of heat therapy or thermotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

While it initially fell from favor, thermotherapy has recently made a resurgence, sparking investigations into its anticancer properties. This therapy is especially attractive for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) which is difficult to target due to the blood-brain barrier and recalcitrant to treatment.

Here we briefly review the history of thermotherapy and then more methodically present the current literature as it relates to central nervous system malignancies.

Recent developments show that heat is preferentially cytotoxic to tumor cells and induces cellular pathways which result in apoptotic and non-apoptotic death.

Techniques to induce hyperthermia include regional hyperthermia by water bath, focused ultrasound, radiofrequency microwaves, laser-induced interstitial thermotherapy, and magnetic energy.

The recent revival of these therapeutic approaches and their preliminary outcomes in the treatment of GBM is reviewed. From bacterial toxins to infusion of magnetic nanoparticles, hyperthermia has the potential to be an effective and easy-to-execute adjuvant therapy for GBM. Hyperthermia for GBM is a promising therapy as part of a growing armamentarium for malignant glioma treatment.

KEYWORDS:   Brain tumors, malignant glioma, nanoparticles, review, thermotherapy

PMID:  24510985

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