Anal cancer is diagnosed in over 30,000 people worldwide each year, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International. An estimated 90% were attributable to Human papillomavirus (HPV).
Clinical results like the one below reveal that both Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment are more effective when combined with Hyperthermia. Hyperthermia warms the tumor to temperatures in the "fever range" which makes the cancer cells more sensitive to treatment. Normal healthy cells recover while cancer cells die.
Patients with T2 and T3 anal carcinomas were randomized to treatment with radiotherapy, 55 Gy, and chemotherapy, 5-FU and mitomycin-C, with or without hyperthermia.
96% of the patients in the treatment arm with hyperthermia and 68% in the treatment arm without hyperthermia had preserved their anorectal function 5 years after treatment. Both local recurrence free survival and disease specific survival was significantly higher in the patient group treated with hyperthermia. Study used a third party hyperthermia device.
- Preserved function after 5 years without Hyperthermia: 68 %
- Preserved function after 5 years with Hyperthermia: 96 %
Kaplan Meier curve showing the disease specific survival time stratified per randomized arm for a five year follow-up.
Hyperthermia and Chemotherapy:
When hyperthermia is combined with chemotherapy, general treatment guidelines of the ESHO European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology recommend:
- Target volume for hyperthermia: The target volume for hyperthermia is the gross tumor volume.
- Sequence of treatment modalities: Hyperthermia is given simultaneously with chemotherapy during cytostasis.
- Duration of hyperthermia treatment: Superficial hyperthermia total 60 minutes, deep hyperthermia total 90 minutes (including 30 minutes heating-up time) ) at temperatures of 40 to 44 °C in the whole target volume
- Kouloulias et al. Chemotherapy combined with intracavitory hyperthermia for anal cancer. Feasibility and long-term results from a phase II randomized trial. Am J Clin Oncol 2005;28:91-99