In a thermal therapy treatment session, the whole body – outside and inside – is heated to a precise temperature of 41.5°C in a stable and controlled way using technological innovation in temperature sensors. A full treatment lasts multiple hours (2 – 8 hours) and is performed under anesthesia. A full regimen typically consists up to 3 sessions, with the number of sessions determined based on previous research and consultation with the doctors involved in the treatment.
Heating the body to a fever range-temperature boosts the immune system, inhibits tumor growth, increases the absorption of anticancer drugs, and increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy.
The concept of thermal therapy (also known as therapeutic hyperthermia) is more than a century old but mainly existed in the laboratories of universities and companies. In previous decades, the knowledge and technology were not yet mature enough to ensure the necessary safety to transfer the technology for clinical applications.
ElmediX is the first company to apply this treatment modality safely based on a convergence of new technologies and inventions. The most important being an innovative and predictive model that calculates the distribution of heat through the body. Moreover, ElmediX has also developed an extremely accurate, sensitive and stable temperature sensor and the use of convection as the modality to transport warmth.
Cancer cells that have spread throughout the body, called metastases, are very difficult to eliminate completely and lead to recurrent tumors. Heating up the whole body homogeneously ensures that all cancer cells throughout the body can be targeted at the same time.
The strength of thermal therapy is that it boosts the effect of chemo- or radiotherapy. Chemotherapeutic agents often do not reach the tumor very efficiently due to the presence of large and poorly vascularized stroma. Applying heat increases the blood flow in the stroma, leading to a higher resorption of anticancer drugs into cancer cells. This effect in turn, improves their effectiveness. Thermal therapy also causes radiotherapy to be more effective on cancer cells and less toxic to normal tissue.
Most of patients could have benefit from thermal therapy, but currently the treatment is used in patients with hardly or (in)operable cancers, patients who have advanced tumors and/or have metastases. At the moment, in the context of our ongoing clinical trial, only stage IV cancer patients are treated between the ages of 18 and 75. In the future that might change. Please have your treating physician contact the Principal Investigator of our study to determine whether you can be considered for inclusion in the trial.
During the treatment, patients are under continuous monitoring by an experienced team of doctors. Furthermore, improved technology and better skills have led to fewer side effects. Literature on other thermal therapy treatment modalities show minor side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Severe adverse effects are unlikely but can include problems with the heart, blood vessels and or major organs.