Modulating the heat stress response to improve hyperthermia-based anticancer treatments

Enzo M. Scutigliani*, Yongxin Liang, Hans Crezee, Roland Kanaar, Przemek M. Krawczyk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Cancer treatments based on mild hyperthermia (39–43C, HT) are applied to a widening range of cancer types, but several factors limit their efficacy and slow down more widespread adoption. These factors include difficulties in adequate heat delivery, a short therapeutic window and the acquisition of thermotolerance by cancer cells. Here, we explore the biological effects of HT, the cellular responses to these effects and their clinically-relevant consequences. We then identify the heat stress response—the cellular defense mechanism that detects and counteracts the effects of heat—as one of the major forces limiting the efficacy of HT-based therapies and propose targeting this mechanism as a potentially universal strategy for improving their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1243
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Dutch Cancer Society (grant number 11143). PMK and HC are members of the H2020 European Training Network ?HYPERBOOST: Hyperthermia boosting the effect of Radiotherapy? (grant number 955625). This work was also supported by the Gravitation program from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), which is part of the Oncode Institute. The Oncode Institute is partly financed by the Dutch Cancer Society.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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