The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction of heat and chemotherapy in experimental whole body hyperthermia (WBH). A vascular technique of extracorporeal perfusion was employed to rapidly elevate body temperature in rabbits carrying the transplantable VX‐2 carcinoma. Hyperthermia (> 41°C) was achieved in a mean time of 28 minutes. Tumor‐bearing rabbits receiving WBH alone exhibited poor mean survival (14 days) relative to untreated tumor‐bearing animals (32 days) and the group receiving IV Cis‐platinum alone (50 days) (NS, p < .05 respectively). WBH with Cis‐platinum was intermediate in terms of mean survival (30 days, NS) between the WBH alone and Cis‐platinum alone groups. In this experimental model we have determined WBH to be a detrimental form of cancer therapy. Its action appears to enhance tumor proliferation, resulting in rapid animal demise. In light of these findings a reevaluation of clinical WBH may be warranted.
- total body hyperthermia
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