Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women and the second most fatal. One out of every eight women in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. While these facts may be alarming, it should also be noted that thanks to advancements in medicine and an increase in breast cancer awareness, the number of deaths as a result of breast cancer has been steadily declining over time. The Hyperthermia Cancer Institute is the premier hyperthermia center for breast cancer patients.
Today, Hyperthermia helps increase the treatment response rate for breast cancer by 24%.
There is a multitude of different treatments for breast cancer. Treatment options typically include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. There are also treatments that can be performed in conjunction with others to significantly increase the effectiveness of those breast cancer treatments, including hyperthermia.
The Effectiveness of Hyperthermia for Breast Cancer
Scientists have found that hyperthermia has a very high success rate for breast cancer treatment. Hyperthermia is a heat treatment that is delivered directly to the tumor area, usually via ultrasound or microwave energy. At our center, we use the only non-invasive, FDA-approved ultrasound energy delivery system, the Sonotherm 1000. The system penetrates deeply; using ultrasound technology reduces the risk of burn compared to microwave technology.
During the treatment, we gently raise the temperature carefully to approximately 110º Fahrenheit. The heat produced by the hyperthermia treatment targets and damages proteins and structures within cells, thereby shrinking breast tumors. Hyperthermia also helps radiation and chemotherapy to be more effective. The heat increases blood and oxygen circulation to the tumor, making radiation more effective by increasing the oxygen to the tissue, and chemotherapy by bringing more medication directly into the tumor.
Hyperthermia for Breast Cancer
Comparison of the results of Radiotherapy (RT) versus radiotherapy plus hyperthermia (HT+RT) in randomized trials from Western Research Groups.
In a clinical study conducted in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada involving 306 patients with superficial localized breast cancer, patients who received both hyperthermia and radiation therapy had a complete response rate of 59% compared to 41% for those who received radiation treatments alone. Local relapse-free survival was 50% for those who received both therapies and 30% for those who received radiation alone (1). In addition, a clinical study conducted at Duke University involving patients with previously irradiated superficial tumors, 23.5% had a complete response when treated with radiation alone compared to a response rate of 68.2% for patients treated with hyperthermia plus radiation.
The Hyperthermia Cancer Institute is one of only four centers nationwide that uses ultrasound waves for hyperthermia treatment. To schedule an appointment or find out more about breast cancer, please contact us.