Hyperthermia refers to raising the temperature of a part of the body or the whole body in order to produce health benefits or (on the case of cancer) to produce tumor cell die-off. Typically the target temperature is 103-108°F which is just a few degrees above normal. Published research has shown that hyperthermia improves a patient’s response to various anti-tumor treatments (Click to access the National Cancer Institute’s Fact Sheet on Hyperthermia)
The beauty of hyperthermia is that it tends to make some cancer cells more vulnerable to both traditional and possibly nontraditional therapies as well. Hyperthermia also enhances the effects of certain anticancer drugs and natural compounds.
Several methods of hyperthermia are currently under study, including local, regional, and whole-body hyperthermia.
What is the Effectiveness of Hyperthermia?
The effectiveness of hyperthermia is linked to the temperature achieved in the target tissues during treatment, as well as the treatment time length. And, so long as tissue temperature remains below 111°F there is no damage to treated or normal tissues.
A great many government approved clinical studies have been and are being conducted to determine the effectiveness of hyperthermia for various forms of cancer plus other diseases. Some focus on hyperthermia in combination with other treatments while others deal with improving hyperthermia techniques.
What Conditions does Hyperthermia Treat?
When it comes to cancer, hyperthermia is not usually powerful enough in and of itself to bring about remission, and for this reason doctors including Dr. Steenblock use it in concert with other treatments.
In addition to treating cancer, hyperthermia therapy is being used experimentally and off-label to treat stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury (SCI.)
In animal studies that focused on ischemic stroke hypothermia was found to lower clotting threshold and help keep intracranial pressure down in a safe fashion.
Studies done in which hyperthermia therapy were used in animal model of TBI showed that it may prevent secondary neurological injuries.
For readers interested in additional information: The BSD Medical Corporation offers a free & informative video on hyperthermia: http://www.bsdmc.com/patients.php. Their web site also contains hyperthermia FAQs and much more: http://www.bsdmc.com/index.php.