Hyperthermia is the use of therapeutic heat to treat various cancers on and inside the body. Hyperthermia is almost always used with other forms of cancer therapy, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Hyperthermia may make some cancer cells more sensitive to radiation or harm other cancer cells that radiation cannot damage. When hyperthermia and radiation therapy are combined, they are often given within an hour of each other. Hyperthermia can also enhance the effects of certain anticancer drugs. The types of conditions radiation therapists at VCU Massey Cancer Center will be able to treat with hyperthermia include superficial tumors (chest wall recurrences of breast cancer, melanomas); large neck node metastases; superficial tumors in previously treated areas; and tumors accessible to large interstitial implants, such as advanced prostate cancers, advanced cervical cancers and some head and neck cancers.