Hot Chemo Bathing is back in the news. I first learned of it back in August. (Click HERE to read “WTF is a Chemo Bath?”) Now CBS News is reporting more success stories using this controversial approach to cancer treatment.
Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…
Success Story #1: 25 year photographer Jon Upson diagnosed with Appendix Cancer, a rare, aggressive form that had spread throughout his stomach. He was given no hope of fighting this disease. Then he found UC San Diego oncologist, Dr. Andrew Lowy, a pioneer in a very controversial treatment known as “hot chemo bath”. Upson’s young age and the rapid spread of his disease made him the perfect candidate.
In a nutshell, here’s how it worked… Dr. Lowy made an incision in Upson’s rib cage to pelvis, and then cut out all visible tumors. Using tubes, Lowy then filled Upson’s abdominal cavity with cancer killing drugs – the same used in chemotherapy but heated to almost 108 degrees. For lack of a better word, these hot chemicals were “sloshed around” inside Upson’s belly for 90 minutes. The whole operation took 10 hours.
According to Dr. Lowy, “There are cancer cells that aren’t visible to our eyes, and can’t be operated on. We are trying to kill those tumor cells that could be a source of a recurrence. The rationale for using heat is that is has been known for over a century that heat is toxic to cancer cells.”
Success Story #2: 61-year-old Yehuda Bock diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. Bock was also given no hope at treating, much less beating his disease. He too chose the hot chemo bath route with Dr. Lowy and now 49 months later (median survival is 32 months), no traces of cancer have been found in his body.
Hot chemo baths have been around for quite some time. But many hospitals and doctors shun this procedure as it is extremely invasive and risky. It involves many vital organs, the patient is “open” for hours, and there’s increased risk of infection. However, Lowy and a handful of other doctors are finding that hot chemo baths can be very effective on some colon and stomach cancers. In fact, the results have been so intriguing that clinical trials now are underway in 10 hospitals across the country.
(source: CBS News)