Overview of bladder heating technology: matching capabilities with clinical requirements

Int J Hyperthermia. 2016 Jun;32(4):407-16. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2016.1141239. Epub 2016 Mar 4.


Moderate temperature hyperthermia (40-45°C for 1 h) is emerging as an effective treatment to enhance best available chemotherapy strategies for bladder cancer. A rapidly increasing number of clinical trials have investigated the feasibility and efficacy of treating bladder cancer with combined intravesical chemotherapy and moderate temperature hyperthermia. To date, most studies have concerned treatment of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) limited to the interior wall of the bladder. Following the promising results of initial clinical trials, investigators are now considering protocols for treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). This paper provides a brief overview of the devices and techniques used for heating bladder cancer. Systems are described for thermal conduction heating of the bladder wall via circulation of hot fluid, intravesical microwave antenna heating, capacitively coupled radio-frequency current heating, and radiofrequency phased array deep regional heating of the pelvis. Relative heating characteristics of the available technologies are compared based on published feasibility studies, and the systems correlated with clinical requirements for effective treatment of MIBC and NMIBC.

Keywords: Bladder cancer; electromagnetic heating; hyperthermia; intravesical heating; thermo-chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Urinary Bladder
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents