During local hyperthermia, tumor areas are irradiated with the help of radio waves.
The tumors are heated to temperatures of up to 45 °C using radio waves of a certain wavelength. Above a specific temperature, cancer cells can no longer survive because important cell structures are getting damaged. Healthy cells can usually withstand the treatment without harm, as they can tolerate higher temperatures.
Many tumors produce more lactate due to their altered metabolism and thus create an acidic environment, which in turn inhibits the function of immune cells. Local hyperthermia makes the tissue less acidic because it increases the blood flow to the tumor. That mechanism flushes out acidic substances and transports more oxygen into the tissue.
Hyperthermia also leads to better recognition of tumor cells by the immune system, because cancer cells that are treated with hyperthermia produce certain proteins on their surface. This protein activates the natural killer cells of our immune system.
Many chemotherapies are enhanced by hyperthermia. At the same time, the side effects decrease. The same applies to radiation therapy. Cancer cells that were previously radiation-resistant can be killed again in combination with hyperthermia.
The treatment is safe for healthy cells.
Local hyperthermia is suitable for all types of cancers except for leukemia.
Local hyperthermia is one of the most important methods of integrative oncology. Experienced therapists can use it to increase the effectiveness of cancer therapies while reducing side effects. Except for leukemias, local hyperthermia should be an integral part of any treatment.