Counterpoint: Hyperthermia with Radiation Therapy for Chest Wall Recurrences

Author: Beryl McCormick MD1
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  • 1 From the Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

The 2007 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Breast Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology include a consideration for hyperthermia (HT) and radiation for women with recurrent locoregional advanced breast cancers after first-line surgery or radiation failed. Although HT in this setting has been used for several decades, recent reports are few. This article reviews the data from several recent studies, selected because they included at least 100 patients. Unresolved issues of radiation dose, optimal temperature and timing of HT, and quality assurance problems with thermometry are apparent from these studies. Although clearly an effective treatment option in this clinical scenario, more research on HT and radiation is needed before this treatment combination can be considered standard care.

Correspondence: Beryl McCormick, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021. E-mail:
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