Hyperthermia, also called thermal therapy or thermotherapy, is a type of treatment during which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures of up to 113ºF in order to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain anticancer drugs.

By killing cancer cells and damaging proteins and structures within cells, hyperthermia may shrink tumors. [1]

Localized hyperthermia treatment is a well-established cancer treatment method with a simple basic principle: If a temperature elevation to 104ºF can be maintained for one hour within a cancer tumor, the cancer cells will be destroyed. [2]

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Primary malignant tumors have poor blood circulation which makes them more sensitive to temperature changes. In localized hyperthermia heat is applied to a small area, such as a tumor, using different techniques which deliver energy to heat the tumor.

These various types of energy may include microwave, radiofrequency, and ultrasound. Depending on the tumor location, there are several approaches to local hyperthermia:

According to the National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health), hyperthermia — a procedure in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures (up to 113ºF) — is under investigation to assess its effectiveness in the treatment of cancer.

Scientists think heat may help shrink tumors by damaging cells or depriving them of substances they need to live. They are studying local, regional, and whole-body hyperthermia, using external and internal heating devices.

In conventional approaches, hyperthermia is almost always used with other forms of therapy (radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy) to try to increase their effectiveness.

This is dissimilar to the approach used at Hope4Cancer, where hyperthermia is combined with non-toxic alternative treatments to provide a safe and effective approach against cancer.

It is known that heating areas of the body that contain cancer or heating the tumor itself, may help kill cancer cells. This treatment exposes the body tissue to high temperatures, between 104º-113ºF (40°-45°C), without harming surrounding healthy tissue. The normal body temperature is 98.6 ºF (37°C).

Most normal tissues are not damaged during hyperthermia if the temperature remains under 111°F. However, due to regional differences in tissue characteristics, higher temperatures may occur in various spots. This can result in burns, blisters, discomfort, or pain. [2]

Many clinical trials are being conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of hyperthermia. Some trials continue to research hyperthermia in combination with other therapies for the treatment of different cancers. Other studies focus on improving hyperthermia techniques.