What is Hyperthermia Treatment?

Synergistic Integrative Therapy

KASB Foundation Cancer Treatment Center is proud to be the first in Pakistan to integrate Loco-Regional Hyperthermia (LRHT) into our cancer treatment protocols. LRHT is a hyperthermia (heat based) treatment that employs the principle of Modulated Electro-Hyperthermia implemented using the Oncotherm EHY-2000 Plus device. This integrated oncology therapy is intended as an adjunct to standard of care therapies to improve overall outcomes.

Hyperthermia is a therapy where heat is induced to damage or kill cancer cells, or to make cancer cells more susceptible to the effects of radiation and chemotherapy. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), scientists believe that this noninvasive heat therapy can help shrink tumours with minimal impact on normal healthy tissue.

Hyperthermia works in four principle ways to address a malignant tumor:

  • Heat damages or weakens the proteins and structures of malignant cells.
  • Heat increases blood flow through the weakened tumor, which can allow chemo and radiation therapies to more thoroughly permeate the tumor.
  • Increased blood flow raises oxygen levels in tumors so the cancer can be more effectively treated by radiation therapy.
  • The body senses fever and can stimulate the immune system.

What is LRHT?

In LRHT, focused and controlled radio-frequency (RF) waves are directed straight to the tissue or organ affected by the tumour. The LRHT treatment device employs a capacitive coupled electrode pair to transmit RF as a carrier for energy. The energy is absorbed by the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) of the malignant cells and subsequently heats the cells to temperatures that drive synergistic benefit.

LRHT is based on the classical method of Hyperthermia (high-heat) but does more than just randomly heat layers of tissue. LRHT employs a modulated electric field to selectively deliver a controlled energy dose to a localized treatment area. A mobile electrode is positioned on the treatment area, while a second stationary electrode remains in a fixed position below the patient, integrated within the therapy bed. Operating at a carrier frequency of 13.56 MHz, this capacitive coupled circuit delivers energy directly to the malignant cells.

Microbiological tests have demonstrated that higher ionic concentrations exist in the more active malignant cellular environment. Consequently, the extracellular matrix of malignant tissue inherently has greater conductivity and permittivity than healthy tissue. This difference facilitates selective focus on malignant cells even in highly mixed tissue containing large numbers of healthy and malignant cells. The derived advantage is the electric field tends to flow predominantly through the tumor tissue where the concentration of focused electric energy selectively heats the malignant cells to clinically relevant temperatures. This process of natural selection is further enhanced by the electric-field modulation, which addresses the autonomous, non-collective behavior of individual malignant cells by reengaging the body's inherent immune response. Malignant tumour cells are then driven to a process known as "apoptosis".

This effect of modulated electric field is unique and exclusive to LRHT therapy administered with the EHY-2000 Plus device.

The demonstrated benefits of LRHT can include:

  • Chemo-sensitization. LRHT sensitizes the tumor to complementarily applied chemotherapy because constrained thermodynamic flow effects destabilize the cell membrane, increasing its permeability and structural dysfunction, thereby increasing the absorption rate of the administered chemotherapy agent. LRHT compromises the tumor cell membrane allowing higher intracellular drug concentrations. The positive results of phase II/III trials have established that LRHT with chemotherapy is a novel clinical modality that allows the chemotherapy to be better targeted within the heated tumor.
  • Radio-sensitization. LRHT sensitizes the tumor to complementarily applied radiotherapy by oxygenation (increased oxygen delivery to the cells via blood perfusion). The addition of LRHT during a series of radiotherapy treatments improves relevant clinical endpoints such as response rate, local control and overall survival. LRHT increases oxygenation, thus reducing hypoxia and amplifying the radiation cytotoxic effect. LRHT also inhibits the repair of radiation damaged tumor cells.
  • Immune System Response. LRHT triggers antigen expression through the compromised malignant cellular membrane. Of particular significance is the release of heat shock proteins (HSP) that promotes a natural immune response destructive to the tumor. Danger signals such as mobility group B1 protein, ATP and HSP, which are released from treated necrotic tumor cells, stimulate the natural immune system and therefore assist the anti-tumor response. LRHT also stimulates the re-establishment of adherent connections (�-catenins, E-cadherins) that play a key role in triggering apoptosis and suppressing malignant cell dissemination.
  • Gene Activation. LRHT activates the p53 tumor suppressor gene.

Can LRHT be combined with other forms of treatment?

LRHT is intended for use as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and is devoted to the non-invasive hyperthermia based treatment of indicated solid tumour cancers. LRHT has proven to be complementary to these treatments by enhancing the beneficial effects of chemotherapy and radiation while helping to mitigate side effects. Even a tumour which has developed a resistance to chemotherapy and radiation, may respond again to these therapies following LRHT treatment. LRHT has application in the post-surgical setting to treat potential rogue cells liberated via biopsy or surgery.

How is LRHT treatment applied?

LRHT is a treatment for solid tumour cancers with indications for both primary and metastatic malignancies, as demonstrated through phase II & III clinical trials.

LRHT can deliver increased survival times and improved quality of life for indicated cancer types. Furthermore, LRHT has potential palliative application when available conventional therapies are no longer indicated.

Are there any adverse side-effects to LRHT?

This complementary therapy presents minimal risk and limited adverse side effects. Heating the tumour has minimal effect on adjacent healthy tissue; however, some slight surface skin reddening can occur. This effect is mitigated through regular patient communication during treatment. Also, the body's natural circulation is extremely efficient and soon dissipates the heat - something the tumour is not capable of because of its more primitive blood supply.

For additional information and details on this exciting new technology available at KASB Foundation Cancer Treatment Center please feel free to contact us at:

Email: ctc-info@kasbfoundation.org.pk Or call us today to schedule an appointment with our Doctors to learn more about how LRHT can help you: 021-35860003

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