The Biological Responses to Heat

  • P. Pontiggia
  • J. R. McLaren
  • G. F. Baronzio
  • I. Freitas
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 267)


The therapeutical application of heat, in any manner obtained (radiofrequency, microwave, ultrasound hyperthermia) , causes progressive physiopathologic modifications to the tumoral mass.These consist in structural damages sufficiently known(18). The heating of a neoplastic mass usually brings about impairments of enzymatic cellular processes, with an increase of oxygen consumption, interesting anoxic or partially anoxic cells.These enzymatic impairments imbalance the normal homeostatic equilibrium, leading to cell. death(55). The thermal washout mechanisms, which protect the normal cells, for certain temperature limits, are missing for the neoplastic cells placed in different environment.The nutritive supply to the tumor microenvironment largely depends on an inefficient and inelastic vascular system (8). The temperature increase, beyond an optimal shoulder, 42.5°C, creates higher oxygen consumption, increase of microsomal activity and of anaerobic glycolysis, leading to two different processes: (A) increased production of lactic acid with consequently pH decrease, (B) a drastic reduction of ATP formation. The reduced availability of energy, due to high temperatures, impairs the enzymatic repair system of tumor DNA molecules.


Hypoxic Cell Blood Flow Decrease Tumor Blood Flow MURAMYL Dipeptide Local Hyperthermia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Pontiggia
    • 1
  • J. R. McLaren
    • 2
  • G. F. Baronzio
    • 1
  • I. Freitas
    • 3
  1. 1.DPT.of Hematology OncologyClinica Citta di PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Emory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Laboratorio di Anatomia ComparataUniversita’di PaviaPaviaItaly

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