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“Oncothermia” (Modulated electro-hyperthermia) ― Present status and future development ―

Modulated electro-hyperthermia (mEHT) ‒ trade name: Oncothermia ‒ is an emerging curative treatment method in oncological hyperthermia. Although mEHT is similar to other classic hyperthermia methods to utilize temperature rise in tumor, there are several features; i.e. use precise impedance-matched, capacitive-coupled 13.56 MHz radiofrequency (RF) with amplitude modulation, in order to keep the tumor temperature below the cytotoxic range (<42 °C) but induce continuous temperature gradient on the tumor cell membrane. This in homogenous, non-equilibrium heating on the cell membrane induces programmed cancer cell death (apoptosis). mEHT effectiveness has been also proven in clinical studies, and has fewer side effects due to low RF output. Therefore, not only thermal effects but also non-thermal (temperature independent) effects of mEHT are important for considering the biological and clinical significance. Basic, preclinical and clinical reports have been published after “Oncothermia: Principles and Practices” by Szasz A. et al. In this review article these outcomes will be summarized and discuss on the further possibilities and problems of mEHT.

Masahiko Kanamori,
Tsutomu Sato,
Tomoko Shima,
Jun-Ichi Saitoh,
Gabor Andocs,
Takashi Kondo
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