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Cancer Treat Res. 2007;134:171-84.

The biologic rationale of hyperthermia.

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  • 1Charit√©-Centrum Tumormedizin, Charit√© Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin, Germany.


The clinical efficacy of various of hyperthermia approaches has been demonstrated in the scope of various randomised trials. In addition, a large body of preclinical data on alterations of cellular and molecular pathways under the circumstance of elevated temperatures is available. However, there is still uncertainty about the mechanisms which are acutally responsible for the beneficial effect of clinical hyperthermia when applied as an adjunt to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or radiochemotherapy. This chapter gives a clinically orientated overview on the cytotoxic effect of heat alone and in conjunction with radiation and drugs, heat-induced alterations of the tumour microenvironment, and the immunological targets of hyperthermia.

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