11 Abr Hyperthermia and advanced gastrointestinal disease
Advanced gastrointestinal disease is one of the most difficult situations in patients with tumors in the abdominal cavity. It consists on the extension of the tumoral disease in organs as liver, pancreas or kidney as well as through peritoneal surfaces. These tumors take the shape of masses placed inside internal organs or adjacent to different structures and around vessels. They are difficult to treat because of this specific location and its extension.
Hyperthermia therapy is of particular use in cases where circulation and oxygenation in the tumor tissue already are poor, i.e. in the presence of hypoxia. Or in cases where the chemotherapy or radiation treatment needs an effective amplifier because it has to be administered in low doses to protect the surrounding tissue. Even in cases of relapse, hyperthermia is a helpful and considerate partner because the previously treated body areas have already been affected. A growing number of studies and research projects on hyperthermia have been initiated in past years with good results. In several European countries Medical oncologists and Radiation oncologists quite naturally make greater use of hyperthermia as a complementary and relevant component in the cancer treatment canon.
Deep local hyperthermia is a non-invasive and disruptive technique that can be used to treat malignancies. Hyperthermia acts producing the following effects:
- Obtain cytorreduction of the tumor burden
- Increase penetration of the oncologic treatments into the tumor
- Generate a favorable immune response against the tumor mediated by lymphocytes.
Advanced digestive tumors are one of the most favorable to receive treatment for hyperthermia because of its particular anatomic locations. Tumors placed in abdominal organs as liver metastasis or pancreas tumors, kidney or spleen cancers may be difficult to treat in secondary relapses after primary oncologic treatments.
In these cases, deep local hyperthermia helps favoring the penetration of the oncologic treatments to this difficult locations, destroying tumor tissues without harming normal tissues and assisting the immune response to collaborate in the elimination of the malignant disease.
by J. Vidal-Jové, director