The following is a short extract from the paper "Electro-hyperthermia: an Effective Treatment in Oncology" by Prof. Andras Szasz, Ph.D.
Hyperthermia is a rapidly developing treatment method in oncology. The classical effect is based on well-focused energy absorption targeting the malignant tissue. The treatment temperature has been considered as the main technical parameter.
Unfortunately, the heat-shock protein (HSP) synthesis may considerably suppress the treatment's efficiency, adapting cells to survive the shock. Electro-hyperthermia heats up the targeted tissue by means of electricity, producing less HSP-synthesis in the cells than a usual hyperthermia process.
The main idea is to keep the energy absorption in the extracellular liquid and, by heating it, increase the ion-mobility, intensify the metabolic rate of the cells, and destroy the cell membrane before the heat-shock activates the intra-cellular HSP mechanisms.
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The equipment developed is specially constructed with capacitively coupled applicators (the patient is the dielectric in a condenser) and carefully matched to have the best SWR. The machine does the matching and all the personalized tuning automatically and measures the electric parameters to keep the procedure controlled. To monitor the tissue temperature, the measured absorbed energy and the impedance is used. The matching of applicators is based on electro-dynamic calculations. Relatively little total power can be applied because of the good selectivity and well-focused heat absorption.
Well-cooled condenser surfaces (for capacitive coupling on the patients) are applied to avoid burning the surface and to make the application of higher treating power possible without any overheating risk; the heat-energy is not enough to heat-up the skin over 45°C.
The system (under the commercial name EHY2000) has been installed at numerous Clinics and Hospitals in Europe with CE/MDD (European certificate for medical devices) certification. Successes were shown on various conferences and publications [Last conference: 3rd Congress on Electric Cancer Treatment, 23-26 June 1999, Bad Aibling, Germany].
The capacitive coupling is not only the possibility to deliver electric field into the extracellular matrix. DC electrodes (percutane) as well as AC catheters (up to few kHz, inserted into the body cavities) could be also applied to act in the above manner. These pieces of equipment (named ECT 2000 and PCT 2000) also have been implemented and work successfully in clinical practice.
The electro-hyperthermia method is one of the effective treatment methods in oncology. lt is highly selective, gentle and safe. Its effectiveness is mainly based on the induced chaperone expression in the extra-cellular and suppressed shock-protein induction in intra-cellular region. Furthermore, the method induces the immune surveillance to attack the malignant cells by stimulus of HSP90 in extra-cellular electrolyte. Moreover, electro-hyperthermia provides every advantage typical for all hyperthermia methods. Consequently, electro-hyperthermia extends the thermal treatment efficiency by non-thermal effects.