Sept. 7, 2005 – Microwave heat — conveyed by a futuristic machine — may one day ended up part of the standard treatment for advanced cervical cancer.
The finding comes from 68 cervical cancer patients treated in the U.S., the Netherlands, and Norway. All patients were treated with state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radiation treatment. They were moreover treated with a special microwave that heated their pelvic locales to about 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ninety percent of the patients had a complete reduction of their cancer. A year and a half afterward, 84% were still lively, Anneke M. Westermann, MD, PhD, of the Scholarly Therapeutic Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues report in the Aug. 15 issue of Cancer.
That’s pretty great, says cervical cancer expert Wui-Jin Koh, MD, teacher of radiation oncology at the College of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle. Koh was not included in the clinical trial.
“If you see at chemoradiation by itself, you’d say the five-year by and large survival rate for advanced cervical cancer would be rates within the tall 60s to low 70s,” Koh tells WebMD. “That is at five a long time. So the address is whether their middle survival of 84% at a year and a half will hold.”
Hyperthermia isn’t unused. It’s been known for years that cancer cells pass on at tall body temperatures. The FDA has already approved microwave treatment for shallow cancers on or close the skin.
The newer microwave machine used in the current study is more progressed, says Paul Turner, chief technical officer for gadget creator BSD Restorative Corp.
“It lets us focus energy from numerous recieving wires positioned around the body, so we are able to direct the vitality in a noninvasive way to any body portion,” Turner tells WebMD. “We can reach deep into the pelvis and indeed into the thorax.”
In a major clinical trial, the device already showed that it can incredibly progress radiation treatment. But chemotherapy moves forward radiation treatment fair as well. And chemotherapy has the included advantage of coming to all through the body to hit cancer cells which will have meandered distant from the initial tumor site.
That’s why chemoradiation is the standard of care for advanced cervical cancer, Koh says. It’s moreover why the makers of the microwave gadget have turned their attention to seeing if microwave hyperthermia makes chemoradiation more compelling.
“We are combining all three to grant a super treatment a major punch,” Turner says.
Huge Test As of now Beneath Way
Is it aiming to work? The current consider appears that it might. Most patients tolerated the triple treatment well. But it wasn’t simple. The most common side impacts were white-blood cell frailty (leukopenia), fatigue, sickness, vomiting, and the runs.
The microwave caused torment in five patients, very slight burns in 12 patients, and gentle signs of a worrisome side impact called subcutaneous greasy corruption. None of these side impacts was serious sufficient to cause doctors to withhold the treatment.
But chemotherapy and radiation are broadly difficult to endure. Will adding hyperthermia be worth the exertion for patients?
“I would worry almost patients,” Koh says. “With chemo and radiotherapy you are as of now pushing people to what would be considered the limits of tolerance. … My concern is in case you include hyperthermia, they may go past the limits of patient tolerance.”
But Koh rapidly adds that if hyperthermia makes treatment more compelling, it would certainly be worth it.
“With chemoradiation, at least 20% of patients have continued cancer spread in the pelvis or the tumor comes back at the primary location,” he says. “The promise of hyperthermia is that it might improve pelvic control and reduce the in general abatement rate. On the off chance that this ponder holds true, this is often worth testing.”
Tests already are beneath way. An universal clinical trial is randomly doling out 400 cervical cancer patients to either chemoradiation or chemoradiation plus microwave hyperthermia.