Sources from heat regardless of form of delivery are becoming increasingly popular for cancer patients.
There are two beliefs as to why this type of treatment could give positive results. First off, a fever alerts the body that something out of normal range is off, the body develops a condition where the immune system becomes hypersensitive, it finds that cancer cells are not part of the ordinary and attacks them.
If our immune systems are strong it is possible that it is eliminating cancer cells each day however, there is the occurrence when cancer cells go unnoticed and cancer develops. United States scientists are exploring giving cervical cancer patients a bio-engineered form of listeria(not the actual disease), both listeria and salmonella are immediately noticed by the body as enemy bacteria. This is in hopes that it triggers the immune system into fighting against the cancer.
The second belief which connects to several stories about cancer patients whose cancer had vanished overnight, is it possible the high temperature itself destroyed the cancer. There are cancer patients currently in the United States being put in an infra-red “hot box” while under sedation for eight hours, after two days from chemotherapy and immune boosting medications. This treatment is more mild than radiotherapy, which means less chemotherapy is needed giving the patients a decrease in side effects. It seems that the main malignant tumors have bad blood circulation. This causes them to have a higher sensitivity to temperature alterations. Therefore, the experimental theory is that a 40 degree centigrade fever which is controlled can wake the immune system.
Hyperthermia is currently being applied in association with radiotherapy and chemotherapy in a private clinic named the Hope4Cancer Institute in Mexico. Dr. Antonio Jiminez, the Medical Director who is an oncology researcher is driven to discover a non-invasive, non-surgical and painless treatment with no side effects. He summarizes that hyperthermia using particular sound wave frequencies to heat and eliminate cancer cells will not affect normal cells therefore, there are no side effects.
For getting rid of the detox symptoms which happen when cancer cells are eliminated fast, the Hope4Cancer Institute employs infrared light therapy and sauna’s, massage therapy, organic coffee enemas and IV therapy to expel the dead cells. Either whole body or local hyperthermia is used in conjunction with SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy and patients are advocated to use Hallelujah Acres Diet which is vegan and raw food.
Dr. Jiminez states they treat all aspects of cancer spiritually, emotionally and physically. They approach the cause of cancer and aide the immune system in fighting the disease. The institute has six physicians in varied specialties, they treat 200 patients each year and lay claims to being especially successful with breast cancer cases. Dr. Jimenez’s point to make is that cancer mutates, just like the flu however, their conventional cancer treatments are alike their treatments of twenty-five years ago. New flu vaccines are created every year however, approaches to cancer never change.
Civilizations in ancient times had used heat to treat tumors, especially those in the breast, now it seems once more we are looking back to less invasive treatments of past times. Treatments need to be geared to each individual.
Methods of hyperthermia
This is when heat is applied to a small area like a tumor, using different methods which send energy to heat the tumor. There are several types of energy used to supply the heat which include microwave, radio frequency and ultrasound. Based on location of tumor there are several applications to local hyperthermia.
External are used for the treatment of tumors that are newly in or just below the skin. The applicators are placed around or near the exact region and energy is concentrated on the tumor to cause its temperature to rise.
Intraluminal/endocavitary techniques can be used in the treatment of tumors that are in or near the body cavity such as the esophagus. The probes are put inside the cavity and then inserted into the tumor in order to send energy to heat the area directly.
Interstitial methods are used when the tumors are deep inside the body such as in cases of brain tumors. This method lets the tumor be heated at higher temperatures than the external methods. Person is put under anesthesia then probes or needles are put into the tumor. Imaging methods like ultrasound can be used to make sure the probe is precisely placed in the tumor. Then the heat sources is placed into the probe. Radio-frequency ablation (RFA) is a form of interstitial hyperthermia in which uses radio waves to heat and eliminate cancer cells.
In regional hyperthermia different methods may be applied to heat large areas of tissue like in the body cavity or organ.
Deep tissue methods can be used to treat cancers that are in the body like cervical cancer. External applicators are placed around the body cavity or organ which is to be treated. Microwave or radio-frequency energy is aimed on the area to raise the temperature.
Regional perfusion approaches are used to treat cancers in the arms and legs, like melanoma or cancers in some organs such as liver. During this approach some of the patients blood is removed, heated and them pumped back in to the limb or organ. Anticancer medications are usually given during this treatment.
Continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion(CHPP) is a method that treats cancers located in the peritoneal cavity(the space in the abdomen that contains intestines,stomach and liver) which includes primary peritoneal mesothelioma and stomach cancer. During the surgery, anticancer medications that are heated flow from a warming device through the peritoneal cavity. The temperature of this cavity 106 to 108F.
Whole body hyperthermia
This approach is used in the treatment of metastatic cancer in which has spread through the entire body.
This technique can be done by several methods in which raises the body temperature to 107 to 108F, which also includes the use of thermal chambers (like large incubators) or hot water blankets.
The success of hyperthermia treatments is associated to the temperature accomplished during the treatment along with the length of treatment and cell and tissue traits. In order to make sure the correct temperature is reached but does not go past it, the temperature of the tumor and its surrounding tissue is observed through the whole hyperthermia treatment. Local anesthesia is used. The physician inserts small needles or tubes that contain tiny thermometers into the site of the treatment area in order to observe the temperature. Imaging methods such as CT scan be used to assure that the probes are accurately placed.
Side effects or problems
During hyperthermia most of the normal tissue remains undamaged as long as the temperature stays under 111F. Nevertheless, because of regional differences in tissue traits, higher temperatures could happen in different areas. This could produce burns, blisters, discomfort and pain. The perfusion methods can cause tissue swelling, blood clots, bleeding and other damage to normal tissues in the area that is perfused. Most of the mentioned side effects are just temporary. Whole body hyperthermia can produce greater serious side effects which can include cardiac arrest and vascular disorders. However, these are unusual. Most of the time diarrhea, vomiting and nausea are seen after whole body hyperthermia.
At the University of Texas Medical School, seventeen patients with chemotherapy resistant metastatic sarcoma were treated with whole body hyperthermia. The results had shown that 41% responded favorably with an average survival of 15 months in comparison to 59% who did not respond to treatment.
In a study conducted in Italy, 44 patients were involved who had inoperable Stage IV head and neck cancer. Among the patients that received hyperthermia and radiation therapy showed an 83% response rate in comparison to those 41% of patients that just had radiation therapy. The three year relapse free survival rate was 24% for those receiving only radiation and 68% for those who had both radiation and hyperthermia therapy.
There are numerous studies showing good response rates on patients who use hyperthermia in conjunction with another treatment such as radiation therapy.
Currently there are still clinical trails being done to determine the effectiveness of hyperthermia. Some of these trails are still evaluating the use of hyperthermia used in conjunction with other treatments in order to treat other types of cancer. Other studies are focusing on the techniques used in hyperthermia.
National Cancer Institute
Alternative Cancer Care