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Hyperthermia - heat and fever therapy

The Greek physician Parmenides (and echoed by his student Hippocrates „The father of Medicine“) more than two thousand years ago said, "Give me the power to create a fever, and I shall cure any disease." This ancient pice of wisdom is being confirmed by modern research. Induced or naturally occurring fever achieves the following: During a fever, the functioning of the immune system is activated, while the growth of bacteria and virus is forced to slow down. The production of white blood cells, the primary agents of the immune system, is increased, as is the rate of their release into the blood stream. The generation of antibodies speeds up measurably, as does the production of interferon, an anti-viral protein that also has powerful cancer-fighting properties.

Different kinds of heat therapy can be used to treat patients suffering from cancer or chronic illnesses or to prevent a relapse of cancer. 

Local hyperthermia

Cancer therapy with heat from electro-magnetic waves

Local deep hyperthermia has been intensively researched and developed for more than 30 years. Local deep hyperthermia has become established in many countries throughout the world and is already regarded by leading oncologists as „the fourth pillar of cancer therapy“, alongside surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of treatments have been carried out with tremendous success and virtually no side effects. We have treated all kinds of cancers with local deep hyperthermia since 2004.

Using state-of-the-art technology to battle cancer and simultaneously strengthen the immune system

Local deep hyperthermia treatment heats the organ affected by cancer to temperatures of between 42 and 43°C (107-111°F) using electromagnetic waves with a frequency of 13,56 MHz. Cancer cells exposed to this frequency start to die as a result of that heat stress. Healthy cells absorb less energy at 13,56 MHz and warm up only slightly without being damaged. In addition, it has been shown that local deep hyperthermia has a variety of beneficial effects on our immune system. After just one treatment with local deep hyperthermia, white blood cells are significantly more active than before the hyperthermia treatment. The patient notices these changes mostly through an improvement of his or her general wellbeing.

Local deep hyperthermia is a powerful enhancer of drug based therapies and radiotherapy 

Local deep hyperthermia is mostly performed in combination with other treatments, i.e. radio- and/or drug based therapies, such as biological anti cancer drugs or traditional chemotherapy. More than 20,000 scientific papers on the effect of hyperthermia in cancer have been published.

Treatment of local deep hyperthermia takes about an hour per treatment. 

Only brain tumors are treated a shorter time, between 20 and 45 min per treatment. A course of 10 to 15 treatments with local deep hyperthermia is normally carried out before we advise a follow-up examination with typically CT or MRI scan to monitor the treatment outcome. 

Local deep hyperthermia with radio-waves is a gentle but intensive form of treatment with very mild and few side effects. Slight reddening of the skin, sweating, a feeling of warmth, and a slight increase in body temperature are normal responses during and after treatment with local deep hyperthermia.

Whole body hyperthermia

Whole body hyperthermia (WBH) – from helpful fever to the prevention of illness and the treatment of cancer

Contrary to one common misconception, fever is in most cases not the cause of an illness, but rather a healthy response by the body in its attempt to rid itself of the problem. If we prematurely or inappropriately reduce this fever, usually out of fear or uncertainty, then we are missing the opportunity to tackle the condition quickly and effectively. In the medium and long term, the damage caused by prematurely lowering of a fever becomes greater since fever triggers a whole cascade of immunological reactions that can help the body’s immune system fight disease. The body adds a constantly acquired immunity to the innate part of its immune system.

In cancer, whole body hyperthermia can help regenerate the damaged immune system.

Most patients diagnosed with cancer say that they have not had any febrile infections for many years. Instead, they report a tendency toward chronic inflammations and focal problems in the body. These often unnoticed chronic inflammations are, as we now know, often the breeding ground on which chronic diseases like cancer develop. In many cases, the immune system has not been trained intensively for years and no longer responds appropriately to the presence of cancer cells. One of the most effective methods of bringing a weakened immune system back “up to scratch” is whole body hyperthermia, in which temperatures of 39.5 to 40.5 degrees Celsius are generated on a “fever bed” for several hours.

Even elderly and frail patients often benefit greatly from whole-body hyperthermia in cases of cancer.

Patients who receive whole body hyperthermia are constantly monitored and assisted during their treatment by a nurse or clinical assistant. Even elderly and frail patients can benefit greatly from the whole body hyperthermia therapy. Modern research has shown that this treatment trains the immune system and that the high temperatures can even kill off cancer cells. Research has also shown that whole body hyperthermia can boost the effects of chemotherapy while producing fewer side effects.

Ideally, whole body hyperthermia should be used in health care or at the onset of chronic disease.

Of course, efforts should always be made to use a treatment for prevention and not just when a cancer-related condition is at an advanced stage. Whole body hyperthermia is particularly helpful with chronically exhausted patients and patients who have signs of a weakened immune system. Chronic conditions other than cancer, such as allergies, skin conditions, rheumatic diseases, and fibromyalgias can also be treated to good effect. Professor Axel Ulrich, the director of the Molecular Biology department at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, says: “Our immune system is still the best therapist.” Whole body hyperthermia, however, can support this therapist tremendously! Whole body hyperthermia can be combined with laser therapy (PDT, photo dynamic therapy) and Hydrosun.

Superficial local hyperthermia

Superficial local hyperthermia with water-filtered infrared A light: (Hydrosun®) – the power of the sun in a therapeutic device

The Hydrosun® light makes use of the thermal radiation of light, infrared light type A, which penetrates down to 6 cm below the skin and generates temperatures of 39.5°C to 44°C. A patented water filter filters out the parts of the light waves in Hydrosun light that can cause damage or drying of the skin. This principle mimics the oldest biologically active principle that became essential for all life on our planet: sunlight. The latter is filtered through water droplets in the earth’s atmosphere so that the parts of light that are harmful to life are unable to reach us.

On medical use of superficial hyperthermia in cancer and skin conditions

NowadaysInfrared A light is used in medical settings to increase the circulation of the blood in the lower layers of the skin. This effect is used to treat cancer as well as pain, skin conditions, warts, chronic infections, sinus infections, asthma, and anxiety states.

For use in cancer – options for therapy combining superficial hyperthermia with chemotherapy and radiation

In conjunction with chemotherapy, superficial hyperthermia boosts the uptake and distribution of the chemically active medicine in the region of the tumor. Most of the substances used in chemotherapy, as numerous studies have shown, have a more powerful tumor-destroying effect if they are allowed to work in an overheated area. The synergistic effect of hyperthermia and cisplatin, a commonly used chemotherapy drug, can be up to 100 times greater than sole treatment involving cisplatin at normal temperatures.

Even in combination with classic radiotherapy, prompt overheating with the Hydrosun light can increase the cancer cells’ sensitivity to the harmful effects of radiation without increasing the side effects of the radiotherapy. This effect has been confirmed by numerous medical studies.

Superficial hyperthermia is even effective as a stand-alone treatment, especially for all types of skin cancer

At extremely high temperatures of over 43°C, cancer cells are damaged directly, i.e. even without chemotherapy, as a result of being overheated. On the surface of the skin, these temperatures can easily be reached with the Hydrosun light, contributing to treatment of all kinds of skin cancers as well as of pre-cancerous cells (which show the preliminary stages of cancer) and skin metastases. A treatment session with the Hydrosun lamp usually lasts between 30 and 50 minutes and is normally carried out three or four times a week. To treat skin metastases or tumors near the skin, 20 to 30 treatments are usually required. Hydrosun can be combined with hyperthermia and laser therapy (PDT, photo dynamic therapy).


arcadia Clinic

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