Heating-up a tumor locally, called hyperthermia, shows that the tumors become more sensitive to chemotherapy and irradiation: heated tumor cells are less able to repair DNA damage caused by these types of therapy. However, there are also special proteins, called Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) that dampen the effect of hyperthermia. Current research will investigate whether tumor cells in mice are indeed more sensitive to irradiation or chemotherapy during hyperthermia when HSP inhibitors are used. When positive investigators will optimize treatment protocols for this combination of hyperthermia, HSP inhibitors and chemotherapy/radiation therapy.
The result of hyperthermia during radiation or chemotherapy is decreased by the effect of HSP proteins. This research, using HSP inhibitors will investigate the effect and optimize the combination therapies. Since hyperthermia could be applied to many different tumors, this new therapy, if successful, could benefit many different patient groups.