Aspects of Metabolic Change After Hyperthermia

  • C. Streffer
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 107)


Heat treatment of cells and tissues leads to instantaneous molecular and metabolic changes. These rapid changes are already observed at temperature ranges (40-45° C) which are used in tumour therapy. Such an immediate metabolic response is not seen after exposure to doses of ionizing radiation within the therapeutic range. Under these conditions metabolic changes are usually observed only several hours or days after exposure (Streffer 1969; Altman et al. 1970). On the other hand, it is very well understood today that DNA damage and effects on the chromosomal level are the most important molecular changes involved in the mechanism of reproductive cell death (Alperl979; Streffer and van Beuningen 1985). The mechanism of heat-induced cell killing is less clear. However, it is evident that molecular processes in the cytoplasm as distinct from the cell nucleus are important for these mechanisms (Hahn 1982; Streffer 1982). Two principal effects can be observed during and after heat treatments (Streffer 1985):
  1. 1.

    Conformational changes, which lead to destabilization of macromolecules and multimolecular structures.

  2. 2.

    Elevated temperatures, which induce increased rates of metabolic reactions. As a consequence a rapid turnover of metabolites occurs which is followed by disregulation.



Lactate Level Human Melanoma Cell Citrate Cycle Redox Ratio Pyruvate Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Streffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Medizinische StrahlenbiologieUniversitätsklinikum EssenEssen 1Germany

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