RandyW Posted July 17, 2006 Share Posted July 17, 2006 Janie Alison does not want history to repeat itself. Alison’s father died of lung cancer two years ago, and now she battles the same disease. “He did the old-fashioned chemo/radiation, and I didn’t want to do that,” Alison said. “I wanted something different and this added a little extra edge.” The extra edge came in the form of an experimental treatment called thermal therapy. In six separate treatments, doctors heated Alison’s body temperature to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. “This level of heat sends the immune cells to fight the cancer much better at this temperature than it does at a normal temperature,” Dr. Joan Bull, oncologist, said. When patients get to a fever-like state, chemotherapy drugs are more effective. More Information Doctors at UT Health Science Center in Houston need patients to enroll in the thermal therapy study. To qualify, you must have inoperable stomach, gall bladder, lung, head or neck cancer. You can call the center at (713) 500-6820. “Heat makes the tumor blood vessels, the little blood vessels, very leaky. So, we can get much more chemotherapy into the tumor than we could at normal temperatures,” Dr. Bull said. Doctors sedate patients for the procedure, and the patients stay in a heated tent-like contraption for six hours while nurses closely monitor their vital signs. Doctors said Alison’s tumor shrunk, and they are hopeful the cancer is disappearing from her lymph nodes. Alison said she hopes a positive attitude along with this new, experimental treatment, will giver her an advantage her father didn’t have. Doctors will diagnose about 1.4 million cases of cancer in the United States this year. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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