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Add Hyperthermia to Radiation Tx in Cervical Ca.

Adding hyperthermia to standard radiation therapy improves both local control of advanced cervical cancer and patient survival, reported Dr. Jacoba van der Zee and associates at the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam.

They analyzed the combined results of two prospective studies involving 358 patients in the Netherlands who had locally advanced cancers of the cervix, bladder, or rectum.

Subjects were randomly assigned to receive standard radiation therapy alone or radiation plus hyperthermia.

In the hyperthermia group, thermometry probes were inserted to heat the tumor to 420 C for 60 minutes once a week. This was done 1-4 hours after radiation treatment, for a total of five treatments, they explained.

Subjects were followed for a median of 38 months, the researchers said (Lancet 355[9210]:1119-25, 2000).

Among the women in the study with cervical cancer, "we saw a striking therapeutic gain by the addition of hyperthermia," the investigators noted.

Meanwhile, 3-year local control increased from 41% to 61% and 3-year overall survival rose from 27% to 51%, they said.

The benefit was less dramatic for patients with bladder or rectal cancer, who did not show significantly improved longterm survival.

The adjunctive hyperthermia treatment did not increase the toxic effects of the radiation therapy.

Hyperthermia treatment was generally well tolerated.

Twenty patients developed subcutaneous burns that healed spontaneously within 2 weeks, and five developed skin burns that healed with conservative treatment.

Two patients developed deeper burns requiring longer treatment, and there were some infections related to placement of intratumor thermometry catheters, Dr. van der Zee and associates said.
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Publication:OB GYN News
Date:Jun 1, 2000
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