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LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Seeking Heat

To the Editors:

Uwe Hobohm’s article “Healing Heat: Harnessing Infection to Fight Cancer” (January–February 2009) prompts a couple of questions. Given that the administration of a biological pathogen to create fever has been shown to be dangerous to the patient, does any research exist whereby an individual’s body temperature is raised to the 104 degree area by artificial means using heat-generating equipment used to treat hypothermia? Is it possible that this induced increase in body temperature could be augmented by the administration of an innocuous pathogen that, in concert, may invoke the appropriate and perhaps effective immune response, thus reducing or eliminating the tumor?

John S. Mason

Edmonton, Alberta
Canada

Dr. Hobohm responds:

Fever induced by pathogenic substances rather than proliferate infection is not dangerous. But that’s still an interesting proposal. Although there is a large research body on hyperthermia, to the best of my knowledge this has not been tested in conjunction with PAMP therapy.


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