Oncothermia is a form of heat treatment used on tumors. While surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy are the standard cancer therapies, hyperthermia (heat treatment) has long promised to serve as a supplement to these therapies. Its fundamental principle is applying heat to cancer cells in order to kill them.
When a heat source is applied to artificially raise cells above 42.5°C, cancer cells die more rapidly than healthy tissue. Unlike radiation or chemotherapy, hyperthermia promises to be effective on virtually any type of cancer, with few side effects; this has drawn attention to the therapy, and it is already in use as a part of multidisciplinary treatments.
In recent years, there have been proposals of oncothermia devices that use less energy, and that can have greater effect on deep-seated tumors, for follow-up use after hyperthermia; these devices are currently in clinical use overseas. However, though these devices are currently in use in 30 countries worldwide, including Germany, Hungary, and South Korea, they remain unapproved for medical use in Japan.
However, the University of Toyama has completed a physician-initiated clinical trial, and this therapy is now available at patient discretion, though not covered by national health insurance. To request this therapy, follow the instructions below.
To request oncothermia therapy, you must first visit an outpatient clinic and decide on an oncothermia doctor.
Ask your current doctor for a referral to a doctor on the Oncothermia Center staff. (Not all forms of cancer can be treated with oncothermia. Additionally, some departments do not offer therapies not covered by national health insurance.)
Please ask the regional cooperation office, or other similar office, at the hospital where you are currently a patient to make an outpatient appointment with a doctor on the Oncothermia Center staff, using the Medical Welfare Support Center contact information shown below. When you come for your medical consultation, please bring a letter of introduction from your primary doctor, and copies of your diagnostic image data (with consent from your primary doctor). For more details, see the hospital’s website. Please note that we will not be replacing your primary doctor, but rather serving as an additional therapy option available to your primary doctor.
・Regional Cooperation Appointment Line at the Medical Welfare Support Center
Tel: (076) 434-7804 (direct)
If you have any questions about treatment, please contact the Cancer Consultation and Support Center, even if you do not have a referral or do not know which department to ask for one, or even if you are not a patient, but a family member. Make an appointment in person at the Hohoemi Salon counter or by phone, then come in for a consultation day (free of charge) with Dr. Masahiko Kanamori, the doctor in charge.
• Cancer Consultation and Support Center — Tel: (076) 434-7725 (for appointments)
• Doctor consultations — 15:00 to 16:00 on the first and third Monday of each month
• Location: Hohoemi Salon, on the 3rd floor of the outpatient building
If you live far away and cannot come to the hospital, please check the Japan Oncothermia Research Meeting website for a facility nearer you where you can inquire. At present, there are four facilities participating in this research meeting, and they can provide information on this therapy.
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