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Perfusion. 2001 May;16(3):243-8.

Veno-venous perfusion-induced systemic hyperthermia: case report with perfusion considerations.

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Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0528, USA.


Cancer cells are more susceptible to destruction by heat than are their normal counterparts. However, optimization of this hyperthermic susceptibility for selective cancer cell kill has been difficult to define and technically difficult to achieve. A whole-body hyperthermic technique veno-venous perfusion-induced systemic hyperthermia (VV-PISH) was designed in in vitro and in swine experiments to achieve selective hyperthermic cancer cell destruction. In this case report, VV-PISH is studied for its safety and therapeutic efficiency in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved phase-I study, where hyperthermia is used to treat advanced (Stage III B or IV) lung cancer. VV-PISH, utilizing the ThermoChem HT system in an extracorporeal circuit, was used to induce hyperthermia to 42.5 degrees C sustained for 120 min. Cooling returned the body temperature to 37 degrees C. After completion of the treatment, the patient was transferred to the intensive care unit on a ventilator, norepinephrine and diuretics. The patient remained somnolent for 36 h, developed pulmonary congestion requiring an additional 48 h before extubation, was transferred to the intermediate unit on day 4 and discharged in good condition on day 8. He did experience hyperthermia-related shrinkage of his lung cancer; however, he succumbed 270 days after this treatment from further progression of this disease. Hyperthermia is not a benign therapy; management techniques have been developed that have ameliorated many of the problems associated with extremely high temperatures, but pathophysiology still exists. Using these techniques, VV-PISH can be safety implemented, albeit not without temporary sequelae and further hospitalization.

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