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Deutsche Zeitschrift für Onkologie 2006, 38: 116-122.

Thermoradiotherapy with curative intent - Breast, Head and Neck and Prostate tumors.

Bicher J, Al-Bussam N, Wolfstein R


To evaluate the effectiveness of hyperfractionated thermoradiotherapy (HTRT) in patients suffering from early stage cancers of the breast, head and neck and prostate that refuse conventional radiation surgery or chemotherapy. Response rates and survival were determined using objective end points (MRI, MRS, PET scan and tumor markers).

Material and Methods
Fractionation used involved daily hyperthermia treatments in conjunction with each radiation fraction. Radiation daily doses are progressively decreased from 180 to 100 cGy resulting in protracted treatment time that decreases the isoeffect biological equivalent dose by 15% to 25%. This decrease is compensated by the increased number of hyperthermia fractions which potentiates each radiation dose. Treatment is continued until an objective complete response is attained, or failure determined. 40 breast patients, 17 head and neck and 15 prostate patients were treated with a follow up of two to five years. All patients were early stage (III-a or less).

Complete response rates were 82% for breast patients, 88% for head and neck and 93% for prostate patients. Projected 5 year survival rates were 80% for breast patients, 88% for head and neck, 87% for prostate patients. Side effects were less than with curative radiation therapy alone. No Grade IV toxicity (Common Toxicity Criteria) was observed.

Protracted hyperfractionation of daily thermoradiotherapy decreases the side effects of radiation therapy, allows treating to effect using objective end point parameters, accomplishes a high percentage of complete responses and a high 5-year survival rate in the 80-90% range in early superficial tumors. It can be considered as potentially curative in Stage I-II breast, head and neck and prostate cancer when used and researched as such.