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March 20, 1981

Hyperthermia, still experimental, may win place in cancer therapy

JAMA. 1981;245(11):1109-1116. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310360003001

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Oncologists and basic researchers at more than 40 universities and cancer centers are developing and testing methods of heating tumors to induce their regression.

In one of the more novel of these methods, a patient's blood is heated externally and returned to circulate in his body. This method of hyperthermia, applied to the whole body or regions of it, has been used to treat more than 400 cancer patients.

Hundreds more have been treated with various other experimental methods of hyperthermia within the last decade. Its use has increased rapidly in recent years as have reports that it effects tumor regression and prolongs survival in patients whose cancers are less than responsive to conventional therapy.

The skepticism with which these reports were received a few years ago has matured to almost acceptance on the part of many oncologists, though hyperthermia has not yet been tested in a randomized study. The