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Breast Cancer Treatment with Focused Microwave Thermotherapy

Posted Jan 20 2010 12:00am
Focused Microwave Thermotherapy is a relatively new form of breast cancer treatment that shows promise for reducing tumor size and the need for mastectomy.  Focused microwave thermotherapy uses microwave generators placed on either side of the breast to heat the tumor to a specific temperate and kill breast cancer cells.  A more detailed, scientific description of the method can be read in the breast cancer researchers' 2007 paper.

A newly published paper reviews the results from recent studies using focused microwave thermotherapy for breast cancer treatment.  The studies examined the use of this breast cancer therapy either by itself or in combination with anthracycline-based chemotherapy.  Some of the results are outlined below:
  • In one study, 8 of 10 patients receiving a single low dose of focused microwave thermotherapy exhibited a reduction in tumor volume and/or an increase in breast cancer cell death.
  • In another study, 0 of 34 patients treated with focused microwave thermotherapy prior to breast conserving surgery had positive tumor margins, compared to about 10% of patients receiving surgery alone.
  • In breast cancer patients with large tumors (1 - 1.5 inches in size), average reduction in tumor volume was about 88% in patients treated with a combination of focused microwave thermotherapy + chemotherapy compared to a reduction of 60% in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy alone.
In a related press release, it was also reported that the percentage of patients needing a mastectomy was reduced from 75% to only 7%.  This is excellent news on the breast cancer treatment front.  Overall, early studies of this new treatment have been very positive and report a reduction in tumor size and reduction in positive tumor margins.  These early results suggest that focused microwave thermotherapy has the potential to improve the results of breast cancer chemotherapy, which could lead to improved breast cancer survival.  To date, these early studies have used small numbers of patients, so larger studies will be needed to confirm these early positive results.

As the medical community continues to make great strides in breast cancer treatment, we have the ability to reduce our risk of getting breast cancer.  To find out more about lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your breast cancer risk, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at
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