Author(s): Horsman MR
Hyperthermia is generally regarded as an experimental treatment with no realistic future in clinical cancer therapy. This is totally wrong. Although the role of hyperthermia alone as a cancer treatment may be limited, there is extensive pre-clinical data showing that in combination with radiation it is one of the most effective radiation sensitisers known. Moreover, there are a number of large randomised clinical trials in a variety of tumour types that clearly show the potential of hyperthermia to significantly improve both local tumour control and survival after radiation therapy, without a significant increase in side-effects. Here we review the pre-clinical rationale for combining hyperthermia with radiation, and summarise the clinical data showing its efficacy.