Objective: We evaluated the efficacy and safety of M-VAC chemotherapy combined with mild hyperthermia, a new therapeutic strategy for advanced metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium. Subjects and methods: The subjects were 12 patients diagnosed with advanced metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium. For mild hyperthermia, the patients' oral temperature was elevated to about 38°C by heating for 20 min and retaining the heat for 20 min with a far-infrared heater. The antitumor effect was evaluated according to the RECIST, while adverse drug reactions were assessed based on the NCI-CTC. Results: The antitumor effect was rated as partial remission (PR) in 10 of the 12 patients and stable disease in 2 patients, with an efficacy rate of 83% (10/12). All 10 patients who had achieved PR received three courses of treatment. Of the 12 patients, 5 died during the observation period, with survival for 9-23 months (mean: 15.6 months). Adverse drug reactions included myelosuppression in all patients (Grade 3 in 4 patients, Grade 4 in 8), and gastrointestinal toxicity, such as nausea or vomiting, which was mild (Grade 0 in 2 patients, Grade 1 in 8, Grade 2 in 1, Grade 3 in 1). Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that M-VAC chemotherapy combined with mild hyperthermia, which potentiates the anticancer effect and reduces adverse drug reactions such as gastrointestinal symptoms, is a useful and safe method for the treatment of advanced transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium.
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