Whole-body hyperthermia in combination with systemic therapy in advanced solid malignancies

PMID: 31112883
Journal: Critical reviews in oncology/hematology (volume: 139, issue: , Crit. Rev. Oncol. Hematol. 2019 Jul;139:67-74)
Published: 2019-05-02

Lassche G, Crezee J, Van Herpen CML


Whole-body hyperthermia (WBH) might be beneficial for patients with metastasized solid malignancies when combined with systemic therapy. This review identified and summarized the phase I/II studies (n = 13/14) conducted using this combination of therapies. Most of the phase II studies used radiant heating methods in a thermal dose of 41.8 °C (1 h). All studies used classic chemotherapy. Great inter-study heterogeneity was observed regarding treatment regimes, included patients and reported response rates (12-89%). Ovarian cancer, colorectal adenocarcinoma, lung cancer and sarcoma have been studied most. Most reported toxicity (grade 3/4) was myelosuppression. Treatment related mortality was present (4 patients) in three out 14 phase II studies (350 evaluable patients, over 966 cycles of WBH with chemotherapy). Absence of phase III trials makes the additive value of WBH highly speculative. As modern oncology offers many less invasive treatments options, it is unlikely WBH will ever find its way in routine clinical care.