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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Local hyperthermia

What is local hyperthermia?

We use local hyperthermia to shrink tumors by using heat to damage proteins and structures within cancer cells.

Local hyperthermia (sometimes called superficial hyperthermia) exposes a small area, such as a tumor, to high temperatures. Hyperthermia can be used with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and biotherapy/immunotherapy.

How does local hyperthermia work?

Using MRI guidance, we first locate the tumor that will be treated. The tumor is then heated externally or internally:

  • External – The area may be heated externally with high-frequency energy waves aimed at a tumor from a device outside the body.
  • Internal – Probes or antennas are placed inside the tumor to deliver energy and to heat the area directly. Several types of sterile probes may be used. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a type of internal hyperthermia that uses high-frequency energy to heat and destroy cancer cells.

Local hyperthermia offers a promising treatment option for patients with advanced or recurrent cancer.

Local hyperthermia medical animation