Russian Researchers Heat Body Temperature w/Baths

Russian Group Using Raised Body Temperature To Treat Cancer

By Maria Kochetkova LONDON Nov 07, 2001 (Reuters Health) -

Specialists from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk report that heating the body to 43.5 or 44.0 degrees Celsius can enhance the treatment of cancer and other medical conditions.

The technique, called general managed hyperthermy, was developed in the Novosibirsk International Health Centre and is based on the fact that cancerous cells begin to die at around 42.5C, while normal cells continue to function.

Patients are placed in a bath of water heated to 46C for up to 40 minutes and are monitored throughout. The procedure involves administration of drugs to increase the tolerance of tissues and organs to heat and to support heart functioning, general anaesthetic and--crucially--a modified lung ventilator for facilitating breathing. Their body temperature is then returned to normal under supervision.

The centre's director, Dr. Oleg Subbotin, told Reuters Health that the technique has been successfully applied to as many as 180 cancer patients with all major types of cancer, while the total number of patients who have been given the treatment approaches 500.

Hyperthermy alone was found to be effective for the treatment of cancer and it also increases the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy.

Dr. Peter Tulenev, head of one of clinical divisions in the centre, said that the method reduces side effects of chemotherapy such as hair loss, makes cancer cells more responsive to chemotherapy and reduces the tolerance of cancer to chemotherapy that can develop over the course of treatment.

Thanks to Reuters Health Information

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