Clinical Research Heats Up in Philadelphia

Jun 28, 2011, 10:41 ET from Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America is one of just five hospitals in the U.S. to offer study using Deep Tissue Hyperthermia

PHILADELPHIA, June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cancer patients with pelvic tumors may have a new option to target tumors deep within the body. With the installation of the BSD-2000 deep tissue hyperthermia machine, patients suffering from deep pelvic tumors can participate in a Phase II clinical trial at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Philadelphia.


Studies in Europe have shown significant success using the BSD-2000 in conjunction with radiation therapy for the treatment of certain tumors, and now CTCA and will join just four other hospitals in the country to study the potential benefits that deep tissue hyperthermia may offer patients in the United States. Possible benefits could include relief of symptoms, improved quality of life and tumor shrinkage.

So how does it work? The CTCA research team will screen patients to determine their eligibility for this trial. Patients with tumors in the pelvis, prostate, cervix, ovary, bladder and rectum may be candidates. If a patient is eligible and elects to be part of the trial, he or she will undergo deep tissue hyperthermia following regular radiation treatment, for one hour twice a week. During this non-invasive treatment, focused electromagnetic energy will raise the temperature of the tumor region to about 104 degrees F, about the temperature of a hot tub. The treatment objective is to apply the heat to make the tumors more susceptible to traditional radiation therapy, while sparing healthy tissue.

"For more than three years, we have been treating patients with superficial hyperthermia," said Curt Heese, MD, Radiation Oncologist at CTCA in Philadelphia. "But with superficial hyperthermia, we could only go so far; now we are looking forward to studying the possible benefits this therapy can offer patients with deep tumors."

Prior to the machine's arrival, CTCA built a new treatment suite specifically to house the BSD-2000. The calming space offers patients a scenic view of photographs of famous Philadelphia landmarks backlit onto the walls and ceiling of the new suite.

While European countries have been using this technology for years, the BSD-2000 is currently approved only for investigational use in the United States and is being used solely for an FDA-approved protocol focused on evaluating the safety and efficacy of hyperthermia combined with radiotherapy. The study will be available to patients suffering from locally advanced, persistent or recurrent deep tumors of the pelvis. CTCA expects to begin treating patients with pelvic tumors using deep tissue hyperthermia in July.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals providing a comprehensive, fully integrative approach to cancer treatment. CTCA serves patients with advanced cancer from all 50 states at facilities located in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, Tulsa and suburban Phoenix. For more information about Cancer Treatment Centers of America, go to

SOURCE Cancer Treatment Centers of America