Hyperthermia: a Potent Enhancer of Radiotherapy
M. R. Horsman, J. Overgaard
Department of Experimental Clinical Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Hyperthermia is generally regarded as an experimental treatment with no realistic future in clinical cancer therapy. This is totally wrong. Although the role of hyperthermia alone as a cancer treatment may be limited, there is extensive preclinical data showing that in combination with radiation it is one of the most effective radiation sensitisers known. Moreover, there are a number of large randomised clinical trials in a variety of tumour types that clearly show the potential of hyperthermia to significantly improve both local tumour control and survival after radiation therapy, without a significant increase in side-effects. Here we review the pre-clinical rationale for combining hyperthermia with radiation, and summarise the clinical data showing its efficacy.