A phase I study of fever-range whole body hyperthermia (FR-WBH) in patients with advanced solid tumours: correlation with mouse models

Int J Hyperthermia. May-Jun 2002;18(3):253-66. doi: 10.1080/02656730110116704.


Various studies in animal tumour models have revealed the potential of fever-range whole body hyperthermia (FR-WBH) to be used in cancer therapy. To determine the safety of FR-WBH treatment in the clinic, patients with advanced solid tumours were heated in the outpatient setting to 39-39.5 degrees C for 3 or 6h, or 39.5-40 degrees C for 6h using the Heckel-HT 2000 apparatus. These WBH treatments were well tolerated, with no significant adverse events related to cardiac, hepatic, renal or pulmonary systems. In the majority of patients, flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood leukocyte populations indicated that there were transient decreases in the number of circulating T lymphocytes and a concomitant decrease in the number of L-selectin positive lymphocytes in the peripheral blood. These findings closely mimic the affects seen previously in pre-clinical murine studies in which this same fever-like treatment was shown to inhibit tumour growth. These studies have established the safety of this treatment and will allow for future clinical trials where application of FR-WBH treatment can be combined with other anti-cancer therapies, including immunotherapy and chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / adverse effects
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Lymphopenia / etiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy
  • Safety