Int J Hyperthermia. 2004 Sep;20(6):647-59.

A feasibility study in oesophageal carcinoma using deep loco-regional hyperthermia combined with concurrent chemotherapy followed by surgery.

Albregts MHulshof MCZum Vörde Sive Vörding PJvan Lanschot JJRichel DJCrezee HFockens Pvan Dijk JDGonzález González D.


Department of Radiation Oncology, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


This phase I-II study investigated the feasibility of external deep loco-regional hyperthermia in localized primarily operable carcinoma of the thoracic oesophagus and gastro-oesophageal junction. Toxicity when combining neo-adjuvant hyperthermia with concurrent chemotherapy (CDDP and etoposide) was evaluated. Hyperthermia was given with a four antenna array, operating at 70 MHz arranged around the thorax. Temperatures were monitored rectally, intra-oesophageal at tumour level and intramuscular near the spine. In four steps, a thermal dose escalation was performed from 15-60 min of heating to 41 degrees C with two patients in each step. The combined treatment courses were repeated every 3 weeks for a maximum of four courses. From January 1999-February 2002, 31 patients were included. Pre-treatment tumour stage mainly consisted of T3N1 (stage III) tumours, with a mean length of 6 cm. The maximum tumour temperature failed to reach at least 41 degrees C in five patients during the test session of hyperthermia alone. Combined hyperthermiaand chemotherapy was given 55 times in 26 patients. The amplitude was set at a ratio between top:bottom:left:right = 1:3:3:3, with a power range of 800-1000 W. Thermal data showed that is was technically feasible to heat the oesophagus; the median results were T(90) = 39.3 degrees C, T(50) = 40 degrees C, T(10) = 40.7 degrees C and a median T(max) = 41.9 degrees C. In more distally located tumours higher temperatures were reached. In one patient, a transient grade 2 sensory neuropathy was seen. Further toxicity was mainly of haematological origin. Blisters or fat necrosis were not observed. Twenty-two patients underwent oesophageal-cardia resection with gastric tube reconstruction. There was no report of complications in the post-operative phase, which could be contributed to either the prior chemotherapy or the hyperthermia.