It has long been established that hyperthermia increases the therapeutic benefit of radiation and chemotherapy in cancer treatment. During the last few years there have been substantial technical improvements in the sources used to apply and measure heat, which greatly increases enthusiasm for the clinical use of hyperthermia. These advances are converging with a better understanding of the physiological and molecular effects of hyperthermia. Therefore, we are now at a juncture where the parameters that will influence the efficacy of hyperthermia in cancer treatment can be optimised in a more systematic and rational manner. In addition, the novel insights in hyperthermia’s many biological effects on tumour cells will ultimately result in new treatment regimes. For example, the molecular effects of hyperthermia on the essential cellular process of DNA repair suggest novel combination therapies, with DNA damage response targeting drugs that should now be clinically explored. Here, we provide an overview of recent studies on the various macroscopic and microscopic biological effects of hyperthermia. We indicate the significance of these effects on current treatments and suggest how they will help design novel future treatments.

Cell membrane fluidity, DNA repair, heat shock response, immunological effects of heat, tumour physiology,
International Journal of Hyperthermia
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Tempel, N, Horsman, M.R, & Kanaar, R. (2016). Improving efficacy of hyperthermia in oncology by exploiting biological mechanisms. International Journal of Hyperthermia (Vol. 32, pp. 446–454). doi:10.3109/02656736.2016.1157216