Localized Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Cerebral Tumors

  • Allan W. Silberman
  • Robert W. Rand


Hyperthermia is a cancer-treatment modality that can cause tumor necrosis by concentrated heating of tumor tissue. The treatment of human tumors by the application of heat is an idea rooted in antiquity. Both Hippocrates (400 BC) and Galen (200 AD) described the palliative effects of red-hot irons applied to superficial tumors. A more recent rationale for hyperthermia in cancer therapy was based on the observation that patients with high fevers had spontaneous remissions of their tumor. In 1893, Coley described tumor responses to bacterial toxin therapy associated with fevers of 39–40 °C of several days duration 1. Although hyperthermia has been of historical interest for some time, in the last two decades it has reemerged as an investigational therapy. The renewed interest is due, in part, to the crucial observation by Cavaliere et al. (1967), that tumor cells are selectively thermosensitive compared to normal cells at temperatures between 42–45 In addition, data from in vitro, animal, and human studies have shown an additive or synergistic response between heat and chemotherapy, and heat and radiation therapy, at 41–43 °C Furthermore, today’s hyperthermia technology, although still in its infancy, has the capability of producing therapeutic temperatures with minimal morbidity to the host. Thus, a new modality has emerged coincident with the realization that standard cancer therapy—surgery, radiation, chemotherapy—can cure only one of three afflicted patients.


Brain Tumor Intracranial Pressure Malignant Brain Tumor Brain Temperature Cerebral Tumor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan W. Silberman
    • 1
  • Robert W. Rand
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Surgical Oncology, John Wayne Cancer Clinic, Division of Neurosurgery, Department of SurgeryUCLA School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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