New hope for patients with recurrent cancers
Hyperthermia is a noninvasive method of increasing tumor temperature to stimulate blood flow, increase oxygenation and render tumor cells more sensitive to radiation. By adding hyperthermia to radiation therapy, radiation oncologist Justin Juliano, MD, can increase tumor control while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
"The ability to increase the effectiveness of radiation on re-treatment offers new hope for patients with recurrent cancers," says Dr. Juliano.
For many cancer patients who experience recurrence, a second full course of radiation therapy usually is not possible due to the high risk of damage to healthy tissue. Clinical evidence suggests that hyperthermia can, in some cases, allow radiation to be delivered a second time with greater effect on cancer cells, without creating greater complications, than radiation alone.
Hyperthermia is used to treat tumors located within a few centimeters of the surface of the body, such as melanoma or recurrent breast cancer. Hyperthermia also can be delivered through a probe, which is useful in treating tumors of the prostate, breast, head and neck, and a variety of other superficial lesions.
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