Int J Hyperthermia. 2009 Mar;25(2):91-5. doi: 10.1080/02656730902744171.
The effects of hyperthermia on the oxygenation status in R3230 AC tumours of Fischer rats were measured using a polarographic oxygen electrode system. The median pO(2) in about 10 mm diameter tumours grown s.c. in the leg of rats was 3.7 +/- 0.3 mm Hg and it significantly increased upon heating at modesttemperatures. For example, the tumour pO(2) measured within 10-15 min after heating for 30 min at 42.5 degrees C was about three-fold greater than that in the control tumours. About 62% of pO(2) values measured in control tumours were <5 mm Hg. After heating at 42.5 degrees C for 30 min, 37% of pO(2) values were <5 mm Hg. Such an increase in tumour oxygenation or reoxygenation of hypoxic cells appeared to result from an increase in tumour blood flow caused by the mild temperature hyperthermia. The presence of hypoxic cells in tumours is believed to be a major factor in limiting the effectiveness of radiotherapy, certain chemotherapy drugs and phototherapy. Hyperthermia at mild temperatures easily achievable with the use of presently available clinicalhyperthermia devices may be an effective means to overcome the hypoxic protection in the treatment of human tumours.