Effect of hyperthermia on malignant cells in vivo. A review and a hypothesis

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The relevant literature is reviewed in an attempt to clarify the mechanism of heat-dependent tumor cell destruction in vivo. Malignant cells in vivo appear to be selectively destroyed by hyperthermia in the range of 41-43 degrees C. Heat evidently affects nuclear function, expressed by an inhibited RNA, DNA and protein synthesis and characteristic arrest or delay of cells in certain locations of the cell cycle. However, as these effects appear to be reversible and are observed in normal cells as well as malignant cells, they probably do not explain the hyperthermic induced selective in vivo destruction of malignant cells. Heat-induced cytoplasmic damage appears to be of more importance. Increased lysosomal activation is observed, and is further intensified by a relatively increased anaerobic glycolysis which develops selectively in tumor cells. A hypothesis is proposed and discussed which explains the marked and selective in vivo tumor cell destruction as a consequence of the enhancing effect on the cytoplasmic damage of certain environmental factors (e.g. increased acidity, hypoxia and insufficient nutrition.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCancer
Vol/bind39
Nummer6
Sider (fra-til)2637-2746
Antal sider10
ISSN0008-543X
StatusUdgivet - jun. 1977

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