HyperthermiaThe Knight Cancer Institute's Radiation Medicine program is first in the state of Oregon, including the greater southwest. Washington/Portland metropolitan area to offer clinical hyperthermia as part of the treatment armamentarium for cancer patients.  By acquiring the state-of-the-art BSD-500 Microwave Hyperthermia System, the Dept. is poised to deliver this patient-friendly modality with standard external beam radiotherapy in a pleasant outpatient setting at the OHSU Marquam Hill location and at the Beaverton location. The actual treatment device is shown in August 2010 at OHSU.

Hyperthermia therapy in combination with radiation therapy has been evaluated in clinical studies for the treatment of a number of different cancers that are progressive or recurrent despite conventional therapy, including breast, prostate, melanoma, head and neck, sarcomas and others. Studies show that hyperthermia along with radiation kills cancer cells at different stages of growth and is effective in recurrent cancers. Heat also increases blood flow resulting in improved tissue oxygenation increasing radio sensitivity. Hyperthermia kills cells that are hypoxic, have a low pH and are in the S-phase of division, all populations of cells that are resistant to radiation. The BSD-500 Hyperthermia System is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to deliver therapeutic heat (hyperthermia) to certain surface or subsurface malignant tumors (i.e., melanoma, squamous-or basal-cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, or sarcoma) by the use of either external or interstitial application of energy.

The BSD-500 is used to treat patients with recurrent breast cancer.  Previous studies have demonstrated that hyperthermia in conjunction with radiation significantly improved local tumor control in recurrent breast cancer patients.  The data showed that previously irradiated patients, a patient group with a dismal prognosis, had the greatest increase in complete response from the addition of hyperthermia: 68.2% in the hyperthermia arm versus 23.5% in the no hyperthermia arm.   (Jones et al, "A Randomized Trial of Hyperthermia and Radiation for Superficial Tumors" (J Clin Oncol. 2005 May 1;23(13):3079-85).  As a result of this study, the National Cancer Center Network, an association comprising the 30 top tumor centers in the world, is considering adding hyperthermia treatment to its globally published guidelines on the treatment of recurrent breast cancer.

Learn more about our clinical hyperthermia program by calling 503 494-8756.