Hyperthermia FAQs

What is Hyperthermia?

A non-invasive cancer treatment using ultrasound technology to raise the temperature within a tumor up to approximately 109°F (43°C). Heat directed at the tumor facilitates your body’s natural immune system to destroy the tumor. Hyperthermia has also been shown to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

How does hyperthermia improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy?

By increasing the blood flow to a tumor, hyperthermia delivers more chemotherapy to all parts of the tumor, especially to the tumor’s core where it is difficult for chemotherapy to reach. Hyperthermia also makes the out membrane of tumor cells more porous, which allows chemotherapy and other medications to better penetrate the tumor cells, further amplifying the effects of chemotherapy. Finally, many types of chemotherapy damage the DNA of cancer cells, targeting them for destruction. Hyperthermia works by preventing your body from repairing the cancer cell DNA, thereby keeping the cancer cell vulnerable to chemotherapy.

How does hyperthermia improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is more effective in a high-oxygen environment. Because hyperthermia increases the blood flow to a tumor, more oxygen flows to all parts of the tumor, including the tumor’s center.  Radiation therapy also damages cancer cell DNA, targeting them for destruction. Hyperthermia prevents your body from repairing the cancer cell DNA, thereby keeping the cancer cell vulnerable to radiation therapy.

What is a typical hyperthermia treatment regimen?

Each patient’s clinical case is different. Hyperthermia programs are individually tailored for each patient. Each hyperthermia treatment takes about 45 minutes to one hour. The treatment regimen will vary based on each patient’s radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment plan. Our mission is to work with you, your doctor, and customize the hyperthermia treatment plan to optimize your clinical outcome.

What if I am traveling from out of town?

Who performs the treatment?

Are there any potential side effects with hyperthermia?

Hyperthermia therapy does not have the side effects associated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Hyperthermia is heat therapy, which might cause reddening or minor blistering of the skin. To prevent any of these effects, which are typically temporary, our nurses closely monitor every patient during the hyperthermia application. Most patients rarely experience any side effects.

What if I don’t want, or can’t have, radiation or chemotherapy, can I still receive hyperthermia without these therapies?

Our results show hyperthermia works best in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or radiation. We have treated patients who request only hyperthermia and are clinically suited for only hyperthermia. All treatment plans are individualized. If you have decided to only have hyperthermia, it is best to call us so we can determine if it will be beneficial to your treatment plan.

What are your protocols for office visits during the Covid-19 pandemic?

How do I schedule an appointment?

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