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Superficial Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Breast Cancer Recurrence

M. Linthorst

Hyperthermia is the use of elevated temperature for the treatment of cancer, increasing the tissue temperatures to between 40°C to 44°C for 1 hour or longer. Several randomized trials have shown that hyperthermia in addition to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy can substantially improve the clinical outcome in a variety of tumor types. The ESHO 5-88 study in recurrent breast cancer, for example, has shown that addition of hyperthermia to reirradiation increases the local control rate from 38% after reirradiation only to 78% after combined treatment. In the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Czech, Italy and Greece, the combination of radiotherapy and hyperthermia is offered to patients with breast cancer recurrence at the chest wall. In the Netherlands, treatment of these patients consists of radiotherapy, 8 x 4 Gy (2fr/wk) combined with 4 hyperthermia treatments, given once weekly.

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