EARLY RESEARCH &
In the late 19th Century, physicians and scientists began studying the curative effects of hot mineral waters and concluded that its physiologic effects upon the body were responsible for the cures witnessed. These observations formed the basis for hospital-based treatment regimes, where temperature and duration (thermal load) of heated local water was matched to the diseases treated. Around the same time, a number of physicians noted complete regression of tumors after an afflicted patient contracted a febrile (fever-inducing) disease and led to a 1927 Nobel Prize for Dr. Julius Wagner-Jauregg.
CLINICAL TRIALS ON HYPERTHERMIA
Early results led to clinical trials that demonstrated heat to be a successful treatment for several diseases but progress in the use of hyperthermia stalled with the discovery of penicillin. Interest was reawakened in the 1960s when it was shown that hyperthermia combined with other treatment modalities yielded markedly improved results. A number of well controlled, randomized studies comparing hyperthermia plus radiation to radiation alone have demonstrated that the average complete response for radiation alone can be doubled by the addition of hyperthermia. Studies have shown similar results when hyperthermia is used in conjunction with chemotherapy.