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Hyperthermia uses ultrasonic heat to weaken and destroy tumors.

Most oncologists use one or a combination of three methods to treat cancer: surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Hyperthermia can be a useful addition in all these methods of treatment. When integrated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, hyperthermia enhances their potency. In select cases, hyperthermia is a stand-alone treatment that can be employed to kill cancerous cells.  

What Exactly is Hyperthermia?

Dr. Pinzone in an Interview

Hyperthermia has been used successfully  as an FDA-approved cancer treatment for over 35 years. 

The increased blood flow caused by hyperthermia allows radiation or chemotherapy to penetrate deeper into the tumor than otherwise possible. The deeper the chemicals infiltrate, the more effective they are at fully destroying cancerous cells.

A wide body of data proves hyperthermia’s effectiveness across a range of cancers.

The ultrasonic heat generated by hyperthermia treatments creates a fever-like atmosphere around the tumor and within it, which catalyzes the body’s immune system to attack. This gives the body another layer of defense along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Hyperthermia does not adversely impact healthy cells.

Multiple scientific and clinical studies prove that hyperthermia has no known adverse effects on healthy cells. Using a sophisticated ultrasound machine called the Sonotherm® 1000, only the specific areas of the body with tumors are heated. With the Sonotherm 1000, temperature and depth of ultrasonic wave penetration can be controlled with precision. This further ensures that only cancerous tissue is targeted.

Which Cancers Can Hyperthermia Treat?

Hyperthermia therapy is FDA-approved to treat all solid tumors in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. We treat most major cancers and tumor types; if you have a tumor not mentioned below, we may still be able to help you. Contact us for more information.

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Serene and Relaxed Treatment Sessions

Patients managing a life-threatening illness have enough to worry about. HCI’s treatment space is designed to be a respite. Hyperthermia treatments are 45 minutes to 1 hour long and take place in a soothing, stress-free environment. 

Most patients read, listen to music, or watch television as they undergo treatment. Side effects, if any, tend to be minimal. Hyperthermia creates no known complications with healthy tissue. Most patients should expect to tolerate hyperthermia treatments well.

Cutting Edge Technology

HCI’s medical team uses the Sonotherm 1000 to treat patients, which is one of the most advanced hyperthermia systems available. This machine is flexible enough to be adjusted perfectly to each patient’s needs. The Sonotherm 1000 utilizes ultrasound energy to heat cancerous cells beneath the skin and the body’s natural layer of fat, slowly increasing the temperature of the tumor to approximately 109°F (43°C). 

Working Together On Your Care

Our medical director, Joseph J. Pinzone, MD, collaborates with the patient and their oncology team to determine the patient's ideal number of sessions. Typically, the number of hyperthermia sessions equals chemotherapy or radiation therapy sessions.

After Dr. Pinzone has established that a patient can benefit from hyperthermia treatment, the caring HCI staff serve as liaisons with the patient’s oncology team to coordinate logistics, even helping to source lodging and transportation when necessary.

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Reasons to Consider Hyperthermia 

Hyperthermia therapy can increase the likelihood of a complete response to chemotherapy or radiation therapy; in other words, it improves the chances of radiation or chemotherapy killing all the cancerous cells in that tumor. The earlier a patient engages in hyperthermia therapy, the better their outcome. Below are some benefits of hyperthermia therapy at a glance:

  • Improves outcomes of chemotherapy/radiation therapy
  • Heat activates a natural immune response in both body and tumor
  • Directly disrupts the growth of new cancer cells
  • Heat inhibits cancer cell DNA repair
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Selected Hyperthermia Studies

Hyperthermia therapy has been improving outcomes in patients for over 35 years. There is an abundance of data from clinical and scientific studies detailing the efficacy of hyperthermia, much of it available for public view online. Below are some general studies, and throughout the site, we include studies centered on specific cancers.  

Makes Your Cancer Treatments As Effective As Possible

We at HCI understand how difficult a cancer diagnosis can be. Our driving force is to improve the quality and length of each patient’s life. Because proactive, early adoption of hyperthermia is much more effective, we encourage anyone who needs to undergo cancer treatment to contact us right away. For more information on how we can help, reach out to our patient care team today.

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