Thermal Enhancement of the Actions of Anticancer Agents

  • George M. Hahn


It is hardly surprising that heat increases the rate at which some drugs inactivate cells. For example, one would readily predict that any cytotoxic reaction not governed by enzymatic or permeability limitations would follow an Arrhenius type law, i.e., the rate constant governing the reaction would increase more or less exponentially with temperature. Indeed, the killing of cells by several agents behaves in this manner (e.g., the nitrosoureas). Furthermore, it is not unreasonable to suspect that drugs whose entry into the cell is limited by membrane permeabilities might find it easier to enter the cell at higher temperature, since permeabilities to most substances are increased with temperature. The temperature dependence of the action of such agents would not necessarily follow Arrhenius kinetics. Again, examples of such behavior can be found (e.g., adriamycin).


Anticancer Agent Heat Exposure Chinese Hamster Cell Lethal Damage EMT6 Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • George M. Hahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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