The utility of hyperthermia for local recurrence of breast cancer

Background: Hyperthermia has long been used in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy for the treatment of superficial malignancies, in part due to its sensitizing capabilities. Patients who suffer from superficial recurrences of breast cancer have poor clinical outcomes. Skin metastases may particularly impair the quality of life due to the physical appearance, odor and bleeding.

Case presentation: A 66-year-old woman underwent mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer. Nine years post-operatively, local metastases developed in the left axillary area (measuring 5 cm in diameter). Initially the tumor did not respond to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Therefore, we added hyperthermia combined with them. Eight weeks later, the tumor became nearly flat and the patient noted improved activity in her daily life.

Conclusion: Hyperthermia may accelerate the antitumor effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. This treatment provides an alternative for unresectable breast cancer skin metastases.

Keywords: Breast cancer, Skin metastasis, Hyperthermia