Hyperthermia and Chemotherapy

  • William P. Galen
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 267)


Changes produced in the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutic agents on cancer cells by hyperthermia have been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. Increasing cell toxicity has been shown as the temperature is raised from 40 to 45 degrees centigrade. The mechanisms responsible for these temperature effects on cell killing by anticancer drugs are not entirely understood. In a recent review by Herman (1), possible explanations for this net increase in DNA damage seen after exposure to anticancer drugs and hyperthermia include the following:
  1. 1.

    Hyperthermia may increase the drug uptake by cancer cells.

  2. 2.

    Hyperthermia may alter the intracellular distribution of the drug.

  3. 3.

    Hyperthermia may alter metabolism of the drug.

  4. 4.

    Heat may increase the drug reaction rate with DNA or inhibit DNA repair.

  5. 5.

    Any combination of the above events.



Isolate Limb Perfusion Infusion Chemotherapy Peritoneal Recurrence Scalp Cool Hyperthermic Isolate Limb Perfusion 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1990

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  • William P. Galen

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