Cancer cells can’t take the heat

Cancer cells can’t take the heat

You won't believe what this heating pad could do for veterinary oncology cases.

Editor's note: This product is highlighted in a bigger gallery of cool products that our editors found at WVC this year.

Could 40 C (104 F) be key to curing cancer?

Hyperthermia is a cancer treatment modality that has taken off in human medicine and is now coming to the veterinary market via Midmark’s deep tissue heating system Thermofield.

This microwave technology in the form of a heating pad is designed to be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for superficial tumors within 4 cm of the skin’s surface, enhancing their effects on those malicious malignant tumor cells.

How can heat application aid in cancer treatment? Midmark says this adjunctive form of cancer therapy:

  • Triggers the release of cancer-fighting immune system components
  • Helps the immune system recognize cancer cells by expressing heat shock proteins
  • Increases blood flow in the target area to deliver more chemotherapeutic drug to the tumor
  • Increases the cytotoxicity of chemotherapy
  • Makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation
  • Damages tumor vasculature and kills cancer cells at higher temperatures
  • Inhibits a cancer cell’s ability to repair its DNA
  • Mitigates pain.

The heated pad will quickly bring the targeted area to 40 C and stays on the patient for 45 minutes. It’s best to keep the patient sedated so that the pad remains in the exact spot you’re targeting. Worried about burning the skin? The applicator is designed to emit a time-variable electromagnetic field that projects into the tissue, sparing the skin.