Hyperthermia as a supplement to chemotherapy

The interactions of hyperthermia and cytostatic drugs can be autonomous, additive and synergistic.

The most important mechanisms that stimulate an interactive effect with cytostatic drugs include an increased concentration of intratumoral drugs, which is due to increased blood flow and increased permeability of the membrane together with increased intracellular absorption, as well as an increased intracellular drug metabolism and an accelerated reaction rate in increased ambient temperature.

Synergy effects also result from the spatial cooperation of chemotherapy and hyperthermia since most cytostatic drugs work better in areas with good blood flow.

The results of recent research investigating the temporal pattern between infusion and hyperthermia are valuable. For example, with Gemcitabin, a 24-hour interval between infusion and applied hyperthermia is the most effective.

However, indirect synergy effects can also arise from changes in the tissue and the metabolic modification of cytostatic drugs as a result of the heat.