Evaluation of thermal dose effect in radiofrequency-induced hyperthermia with intravesical chemotherapy for nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer.

In nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) patients who fail standard intravesical treatment and are unfit or unwilling to undergo a radical cystectomy, radiofrequency (RF)-induced hyperthermia combined with intravesical chemotherapy (RF-CHT) has shown promising results. We studied whether higher thermal dose improves clinical NMIBC outcome.

The cohort comprised 108 patients who started with RF-CHT between November 2013 and December 2019. Patients received intravesical mitomycin-C or epirubicin. Bladder hyperthermia was accomplished with an intravesical 915 MHz RF device guided by intravesical thermometry. We assessed the association between thermal dose parameters (including median temperature and Cumulative Equivalent Minutes of T50 at 43 °C [CEM43T50]) and complete response (CR) at six months for patients with (concomitant) carcinoma in situ (CIS), and recurrence-free survival (RFS) for patients with papillary disease.

Median temperature and CEM43T50 per treatment were 40.9 (IQR 40.8-41.1) °C and 3.1 (IQR 0.9-2.4) minutes, respectively. Analyses showed no association between any thermal dose parameter and CR or RFS (p > 0.05). Less bladder spasms during treatment sessions was associated with increased median temperature and CEM43T50 (adjusted OR 0.01 and 0.34, both p < 0.001).

No significant association between thermal dose and NMIBC outcome was found. Possibly thermal dose effect in patients of the current cohort exceeds a certain threshold value. On the other hand, occurrence of bladder spasms had a thermal dose limiting effect. We advise to treat patients with temperatures >40.5 °C for at least 45 min while respecting individual tolerability, including occurrence of bladder spasms.

International journal of hyperthermia : the official journal of European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology, North American Hyperthermia Group. 2023 Jan [Epub]

Iris S G Brummelhuis, Johannes Crezee, J Alfred Witjes

Department of Urology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands., Department of Radiotherapy, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Cancer Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.