DEAD SEA, Jordan -- Aided by ultrasound guidance, treating tumors with extreme heat or moderate heat may provide a possible therapeutic option, according to early research presented at the second AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research: From the Laboratory to the Clinic, held March 7-10, 2010.
"Low temperature controlled hyperthermia and high temperature treatments are beneficial in curing both malignant and benign tumors using minimally invasive and noninvasive ultrasound techniques," said Osama M. Al-Bataineh, Ph.D., an assistant professor in biomedical engineering at the Hashemite University in Jordan.
Hyperthermia has previously been shown to increase radiation damage to cancerous tissue and prevent subsequent tissue repair. It has further been shown to enhance chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments by changing the microcirculation and blood vessel permeability properties of a tumor.
Al-Bataineh and colleagues performed the following laboratory experiments.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance, they were able to maintain desired temperature levels of 43 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, which is considered the optimal dose to cause the required biological effect for hyperthermia treatment.
In a related experiment, high temperature (greater than 50 degrees Celsius) for between one to two minutes caused permanent tissue damage to the prostate tumor. High temperature treatment appeared to induce necrosis, or cell death.
Al-Bataineh said both extreme and moderate heat appear to have a clear effect on the tumor's cellular structure, but further research would need to be done before any studies are conducted in humans.
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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 30,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and nearly 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 16,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.