[Water-filtered infrared-A-hyperthermia combined with radiotherapy in advanced and recurrent tumors. Initial results of a multicenter phase I-II study]

Strahlenther Onkol. 1996 Sep;172(9):475-84.
[Article in German]


Background: Water-filtered infrared-A-radiation (IR/A-HT) can be used to heat superficial malignant tumors. A prospective multicenter phase I-II study was conducted to evaluate toxicity and efficacy of IR/A-HT combined with external beam radiotherapy (RT).

Patients, material and methods: From December 1991 to June 1994, a total of 53 patients with 58 malignant lesions were entered in the study. There were 14 primary, 36 recurrent and 8 metastatic tumors which were located in the head and neck region (14), chest wall (31), abdominal wall (2) and the extremities (11). The mean tumor volume was 100 cm3. IR/A-HT was applied 1 to 2 times per week with up to 3 IR/A-HT-radiators directly before or after external RT for 1 hour at 40.5 to 44 degrees C. Temperatures were controlled at various locations at the skin surface and invasively at depth.

Results: IR/A-HT was well tolerated: in 31 (53%) lesions acute (pain, pulse or blood pressure changes, increased skin reaction etc.) and in 25 (43%) chronic side-effects (atrophy, telangiectasis, fibrosis etc.) were noted; usually the toxicity was minor and temporary. At 3 months FU, 32 (55%) lesions achieved a local CR and 19 (35%) a PR; at 12 months FU, 25 (43%) had persistent CR; 16 patients (18 lesions) were deceased and 3 (4 lesions) not yet in FU. In univariate analysis the following prognostic factors for CR at 3 or 12 months FU were found: Karnofsky, metastatic status, tumor size, total RT-dose, thermal parameters T min(av) and T mean. For acute toxicity maximum temperature Tmax(av) was prognostically decisive. Significant differences were also found when considering the "quality of the HT-application". The microwave technique was superior to the infrared-A-HT-technique with regard to the penetration depth of energy deposition.

Conclusions: Water-filtered infrared-A-radiation can be safely and effectively applied to heat localized superficial tumors (up to 1 cm depth). To increase the area of HT application multiple infrared-A-radiators have to be combined. A multi-element-system is in progress.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Extremities
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced* / adverse effects
  • Infrared Rays*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Time Factors