In contrast to the enormous therapeutic efforts, the results of conventional treatments for highly malignant brain tumors (gliomas) are rather unsatisfactory. The prognosis for this tumor type is poor, its median overall survival (6-14 months) is less than one year (1,2,5,6,8). Most of the cases are inoperable, or only partial removal is possible, and the response to various chemotherapies and / or radiotherapy is unsatisfactory.
H. Sahinbas und Dietrich H. W. Grönemeyer
Introduction: In contrast to the enormous therapeutic efforts, the results of conventional treatments for highly malignant brain tumors (gliomas) are rather unsatisfactory. The prognosis for this tumor type is poor, its median overall survival (6-14 months) is less than one year (1,2,5,6,8). Most of the cases are inoperable, or only partial removal is possible, and the response to various chemotherapies and / or radiotherapy is unsatisfactory. Chemotherapies that are successful for other tumor sites often fail because of the effective blood-brain barrier (9). Electromagnetic field modification of the blood-brain barrier in combination with the direct heat generated by the electromagnetic field (12) is believed to be the most important factor in the success of electrohyperthermia (EHY, regional radio-wave deep hyperthermia).
Goal: The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate the therapeutic tolerability of electrohyperthermia for patients with advanced brain tumors, with a primary goal being to demonstrate that the overall median survival is prolonged.
Patients and Methods: Our retrospective study was performed between February 2000 and April 2007 for patients with inoperable, partially resected or recurrent glioma (WHO grade III and IV) in progression after radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy.
The evaluation included 220 patients strong>, including children: 30% anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO III), 60% glioblastoma multiforme (WHO IV), ~ 10% metastases, median age: 39.7 years. All patients had been extensively pretreated. Electro-hyperthermia was administered as monotherapy or combined therapy (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and supportive medications, e.g., frankincense, vit., Selenium) for three to three weeks per week for 1 hour (5, 6, 7, 10, 11)..
Results strong> : strong> The historical reference of overall survival from diagnosis is 11.42 months for WHO grade III and IV astrocytomas and gliomas at our institute. This agrees well with the relevant literature (1,2,5,6,8).
Overall survival (12.13) in our institute with electrohyperthermia increases by 38% in diffuse astrocytomas; by146% in anaplastic astrocytoma, by 57% in glioblastoma.
Hyperthermia survival gain: strong>
Diffus = 38 %
Anaplastisch = 146 %
Glioblastom = 57 %
13 out of 92 patients with glioblastoma still live after 3 years Normally, almost nobody experiences this strong>
Summary and conclusions strong> : strong> Electro-hyperthermia is a suitable adjunct to treatment in advanced inoperable brain tumors or metastases in combination or in exceptional cases as monotherapy (14).
In some cases a complete / partial response and / or a significant delay in tumor growth could be demonstrated. This combination therapy shows an improvement in quality of life and prolonged median overall survival (14). The applied hyperthermia treatment was well tolerated by patients in advanced tumor stages and in pediatric cases.
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