Chemotherapy Treatment Los Angeles

Chemotherapy (also called chemo) is a type of cancer treatment that uses medication to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. Chemotherapy seeks to stop or impair mitosis (cell division), and newer chemotherapeutic agents seek to target cancer cells directly, which helps diminish side effects and damage to healthy tissue.

Chemotherapy tends to be most effective in cancer types that have the most rapid cell division or growth. New screening tools, called “chemosensitivity testing” help our physicians determine which chemo medications may work best for you and your type of cancer.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call The Hyperthermia Cancer Institutey (888) 580-5900. Or, use our Online Appointment Request Form.

Benefit of Hyperthermia combined with Chemotherapy

At The Hyperthermia Cancer Institute, we may incorporate Hyperthermia treatments with your chemotherapy regimen. This is sometimes called “thermochemotherapy.” Local Hyperthermia treatments are directed at the tumor site, and can enhance the uptake of the chemotherapy medication directly into your tumor area, thereby making the treatment more effective.

The application of heat directly to the tumor site will cause the dilation of the tumor blood vessels. When the tumor blood vessels are dilated, more of the chemotherapeutic medications can get to the center of the tumor. Additionally, heat makes the cell membrane of the tumors more porous so even more chemotherapeutic medication can enter the tumors cells to destroy them.

Low Toxicity: Several studies have investigated the relationship between hyperthermia and its effects on normal tissue, in animals as well as humans. Although the topic has by no means been exhaustively studied, it appears that hyperthermia has more effect on tumor tissue than on normal tissue. This lack of significant host toxicity should allow for the inclusion of hyperthermia in chemotherapeutic regimens without significant additional detrimental effect to the patient.

Chemo Resistance: Tumors are well known to often become clinically resistant or refractory to a given chemotherapeutic drug regimen. Too frequently, the development of tumor resistance to one drug will also lower the likelihood of obtaining a therapeutic response to other drugs. Hyperthermia may be helpful in either preventing or delaying the development of tumor resistance to a given chemotherapy drug or in reversing the acquired resistance of a tumor to a given chemotherapeutic drug.

Professor Ralph Issels has published extensively on hyperthermia, and in his article entitled, “Hyperthermia Combined with Chemotherapy – Biological Rationale, Clinical Application, and Treatment Results,” he said, “Overcoming chemoresistance has been extensively studied within the past, especially using CDDP-resistant cells[1]. In regard to the potential benefit that drug-resistant cells can be recruited for effective therapy by combining chemotherapy with hyperthermia, it was important to show that chemoresistance against several anticancer drugs (e.g. mitomycin C, anthracyclines, BCNU, melphalan) including CDDP could be reversed at least partially by the addition of heat [2].

Apoptosis (programed cell death): The combination of chemotherapy with hyperthermia strengthens the cytotoxic effects of the anti-tumor drugs by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death). Well know publishing scientist, Kameda and others, have reported that apoptosis was significantly enhanced when mild hyperthermia was combined with an anti-tumor drug. [3]

Repair Inhibition of sub-lethal damage: Hyperthermia was found to inhibit the repair of DNA damage by anti-tumor drugs and radiation and increased the anti-tumor activity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Cancer cells that are received sub-lethal damage from radiation or chemotherapy attempt to repair the damage but hyperthermia can make this repair ineffective which causes the death of the cancer cells. (Warters et al., 1988, Iliakis et al., 2004, Vidair et al., 1988, Chu et al., 1993; Vanderwaal et al., 2004)

Tumor Specific Immunological Effect: When cells are subjected to “heat shock” during hyperthermia treatments, the production of a specific group of proteins is stimulated. These are called “Heat Shock Proteins” (HSP’s). These HSPs behave as chaperons and help protect the normal tissue against the heat shock. However, a very interesting and important observation has been made on HSPs in cancer therapy: they can induce tumor-specific immunogenicity. Scientists have found that tumor cells that are specifically destroyed by heat, release a tumor specific antigen when they die- essentially an immune system “high alert” for your specific cancer type. (Srivastava et al., 2005; Castelli et al., 2001).

To schedule an appointment, please call The Hyperthermia Cancer Institute at (888) 580-5900 or use our interactive Online Appointment Request Form.

[1] Mansouri A, Henle KJ, Benson AM, Moss A, Nagle WA: Characterization of a cisplatin resistant subline of murine RIF-1 cells and reversal of drug resistance by hyperthermia. Cancer Res 1989;49:2674–2678.

[2] Towle LR: Hyperthermia and drug resistance; in Urano M, Douple E (eds): Hyperthermia and Oncology. VSP 1994, vol. 4, pp 91–113.

[3] Kameda K, Kondo T, Tanabe K, Zhao QL, Seto H: The role of intracellular Ca(2+) in apoptosis induced by hyperthermia and its enhancement by verapamil in U937 cells. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2001 Apr 1;49(5):1369-79.