Disclaimer: Consult with a doctor before deciding on a treatment plan for cancer or any other disease.
Cancer cells don’t like high heat. A number of cancer treatments such as Iscador (Mistletoe extract) induce fevers in order to kill cancer cells. Hyperthermia is sometimes used with conventional cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation, but patients can also combine hyperthermia with Low-pH therapy or other treatments as part of a comprehensive cancer protocol.
Hyperthermia, also known as thermal therapy or thermotherapy, is a treatment where a patient’s body tissue is exposed to temperatures of up to 113°F (45°C) in an effort to damage and kill cancer cells by destroying cell proteins and structures.  This treatment has been shown to work by breaking down tumor cells to make them more susceptible to the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy through an increased sensitivity and weakness, without doing damage to surrounding healthy cells .
The hyperthermia treatment simulates the effect of creating a fever in the body for the purposes of healing and regeneration. Because cancer cells have a lower tolerance for heat than normal cells, hyperthermia can effectively kill or damage cancer cells without damaging healthy cells . In addition, the overheating of cancer cells causes a lack of oxygen in the cell, resulting in an overly acid environment in the cell that destroys cellular nutrients, ultimately resulting in the death of the cell.
The heat from hyperthermia treatment may be the actual cause of death for the cell or it may be the stimulant that allows the body’s immune system to take over and destroy the cells. Cancer cells are normally invisible to the body’s immune system, but under the influence of heat they form “heat shock proteins” on their surfaces that act as a beacon to alert the immune system to their presence, thus allowing immune cells to take action and fight the cancer cells .
During hyperthermia treatment, esophageal, skin, rectal, and ambient temperatures are monitored at 10-minute intervals during the course of the treatment; heart rate, respiratory rate, and cardiac rhythm are continuously monitored. After the treatment, patients are admitted into regular inpatient rooms for 20-24 hours of observation before being discharged .
Different Methods of Hyperthermia
- Whole-body hyperthermia is often used in the treatment of metastatic cancers  and involves the use of thermal chambers, hot water blankets, hot wax, and/or inductive coils to set a temperature of 107-108°F (41-42°C). The whole-body hyperthermia treatment often lasts for 4 hours, during which time the patient is sedated. The patient’s body reaches the target temperature at about 1.3 hours into the treatment, and then this temperature is maintained for one hour before an hour-long cooling process begins .
- Regional hyperthermia is a method in which a large area of the patient’s body, such as a limb, organ, or body cavity, is exposed to hyperthermia treatment. There are three primary techniques used to heat regions of the body:
- The deep tissue method is used primarily for cancers located deeper in the body such as cervical or bladder cancer. External applicators are placed on the patient’s body in strategic locations to target the cancer, and during the treatment the applicators concentrate microwave or radio-frequency energy toward the affected area, thus raising the temperature of the region.
- Regional perfusion works mostly with cancers in the arms and legs, although sometimes it can be used for organ cancers like liver and lung cancer. During the treatment, some of the patient’s blood is removed, heated to the appropriate temperature, and then reintroduced into the body at the site of the cancer. This method is often done in conjunction with administration of anticancer drugs.
- Continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion (CHPP) is a more specialized version of regional hyperthermia that focuses on cancers in the peritoneal cavity, or the abdominal space that houses the intestines, stomach, and liver, such as stomach cancer and primary peritoneal mesothelioma. Heated anticancer medications are directed into the peritoneal cavity during the procedure to warm the area up to between 106-108°F (41-42°C).
- Local hyperthermia (also known as thermal ablation ) is a concentrated method of treatment that concentrates heat directly on the tumor itself using different types of heat generators including microwave, radiofrequency, and ultrasound. The following are three common methods for administering local hyperthermia:
- External local hyperthermia is used for cancers of the skin or those close to the surface of the skin. Applicators are placed on the skin in locations on, around, or near to the tumor to help concentrate the energy directly on the tumor.
- Intraluminal or endocavitary hyperthermia is used for cancers that are in or near to body cavities. In this method, probes are placed in the body and in the tumor to apply heat and help kill cancer cells.
- Interstitial hyperthermia is used for cancers such as brain cancer and other deeply located cancers, which allows the heat to reach the tumor better than the external method might. Patients are anesthetized for this method while probes or needles are inserted directly into the tumor with the help of imaging techniques that ensure proper placement. After the placement is secured, the area begins to be heated.
*Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a type of interstitial hyperthermia that utilizes radio waves to heat tumors .
Possible Negative Effects
Side effects of hyperthermia treatment vary depending on the type of hyperthermia administered. For local hyperthermia, side effects include:
Regional hyperthermia’s possible side effects include:
- Blood clots
- Skin, muscle, and/or nerve damage
The side effects of whole-body hyperthermia include:
- Diarrhea 
Treatment of Different Cancers Using Hyperthermia
∙ Breast and ovarian cancers with recurrent tendencies showed increased signs of improvement with the use of hyperthermia treatment. Out of a group of patients in a study who were given a combined therapy involving hyperthermia treatment and radiation therapy, 68.2% showed a complete response, in contrast with another group receiving only radiation therapy in which 23.5% of patients showed a complete response .
∙ A study analyzing patients with advanced forms of cervix and vaginal cancer demonstrated a dramatic difference in cancer response and survival rates in individuals who received a combined treatment of hyperthermia treatment and radiation therapy. 83% of patients who received the combined therapy had a complete response, in comparison to 57% of patients who showed a complete response with only the radiation therapy .
∙ A study done on 16 bladder cancer patients with T1 tumors demonstrated that 100% of those who received hyperthermia treatment in conjunction with radiation therapy or chemotherapy showed a complete remission. A similar study done on 28 bladder cancer patients with T1-T2 tumors showed a 96% success rate with complete remission of the cancer with the combined use of hyperthermia treatment, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy .
* In previously unsuccessful treatment using radiation therapy or chemotherapy, the addition of hyperthermia as part of the treatment protocol can enhance the overall effectiveness .
Saunas and Temazcals as forms of Hyperthermia Treatment
Saunas are a form of hyperthermia treatment that can be used as part of a cancer treatment protocol. The Hope4Cancer clinic recommends that patients who wish to use saunas as part of their cancer treatment seek a trained professional to work with them. Saunas can be an effective form of hyperthermia treatment in addition to helping the patient with other ailments (such as joint pain or cold prevention) to create a soothing healing treatment .
A temazcal is a type traditional sweat lodge from Latin America. During the temazcal treatment, water infused with healing herbs is thrown on red volcanic rocks to create steam and to heat the environment. The skin acts as a third kidney during the temazcal, expelling toxins and excess water from the body. The treatment is thought to work in treating cancer primarily because of its cleansing attributes and the hyperthermia-style heat treatment, although it has been noted that the volcanic stones (when heated) emit low levels of radiant and thermal energy that may be absorbed by the body during the temazcal .
Hyperthermia and Radiation
Hyperthermia has been shown to potentiate radiation therapies and sensitize cancer cells to radiation. The success rate of hyperthermia as a stand-alone treatment is about 13% according to the research .
Facilities that offer hyperthermia treatment for cancer:
30161 Hannover, Germany
+ 49 511 66 30 28
Zeppelinstr. 7 – 01324 Dresden Germany
HRB 2106 Amtsgericht Dresden
USt.IdNr. DE 140 132 933
WEEE-Reg.-Nr. DE 99280487
T: +49 (0)351 2637 400
F: +49 (0)351 2637 444
HUESCAR 5, GALAXIA BUILDING, 1st LOCAL 11,
29007 MÁLAGA, SPAIN.
Tel: +34 952 368 146
Mob: +34 686 336 310
Center Manager’s Email:
Customer Service Manager’s Email:
 National Cancer Institute (2011). Hyperthermia in Cancer Treatment. Retrieved March 13, 2018 from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/surgery/hyperthermia-fact-sheet
 Canadian Cancer Society (n.d). Research in hyperthermia treatments. Retrieved March 13, 2018 from: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-research/hyperthermia-treatments/?region=on
 BSD Medical Corp (2006). Targeted Hyperthermia Therapy Highlighted at Europe’s Largest Radiation Oncology Convention. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from: http://www.alternative-cancer-care.com/hyperthermia-cancer-treatment.html
 N.A. (n.d). Whole Body Hyperthermia: Cancer Treatment. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from: http://www.alternative-cancer-care.com/hyperthermia-cancer-treatment.html
 Hyperthermia Centre Hannover (n.d). Hyperthermia – Biological Cancer Therapy. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from: https://hyperthermia-centre-hannover.com/our-therapies/hyperthermia/
 Hope4Cancer (2013). Hyperthermia: Can Heat Destroy Cancer? Retrived March 14, 2018 from: https://hope4cancer.com/blog/hyperthermia/
 Siverio, Esther (2017). Benefits of Temazcal. Retrived March 14, 2018 from: http://esthersiverio.com/articulos-recomendados/benefits-of-temazcal/
 Kampinga, K. H., Dikomey, E. (2001). Hyperthermia radiosensitization: Mode of action and clinical relevance. Retrieved March 20, 2018 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11304434
 Van der Zee, J. (2002). Heating the patient: A promising approach? Retrieved March 20, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12181239