The effects of thermochemotherapy using cyclophosphamide plus hyperthermia on the malignant pleural mesothelioma in vivo

Annals of Anatomy. 2005 Jul;187(3):215-23. [Link]

Riehemann K, Schmitt O, Ehlers EM.

Institut fur Anatomie, Universitat zu Lubeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538, Lubeck, Germany.


The human malignant pleural mesothelioma is related to the use of asbestos in the majority of cases. Though the use of asbestos has been prohibited since the 1990s, the incidence of pleural mesothelioma is still increasing because of a latency period of at least 20 years. This study investigated the benefit of single therapy with cyclophosphamide or hyperthermia or the combination of both on cells of a human pleural mesothelioma cell line, xenotransplanted subcutaneously in the paw of mice. A CONTROL group received the same volume of physiological saline. The oxygenation of tumours was measured, tumour growth was followed over 3 weeks, immunohistochemical studies and a light and electron microscopic evaluation were performed. Chemotherapy or hyperthermia alone was only temporarily effective. The greatest benefit was achieved using combined thermochemotherapy consisting of cyclophosphamide plus hyperthermia: 50% of this group had partial remissions, and 67% responded to this therapy. After 3 weeks tumours grew again. Superior effects could be achieved by performing additional cycles of chemotherapy or adding another drug or radiation for instance. This study shows promising results in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.