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Local hyperthermia is performed with superficial applicators (microwave, radiowave, ultrasound) of different kinds (waveguide, spiral, current sheet etc). These applicators are positioned upon superficial tumors coupled to the tissue by water bags or a water bolus. The penetration depth depends on the frequency and size of the applicator, and typically the clinical range is not more than 3 – 4 cm.
A system for local hyperthermia consists of a generator, the control computer, the applicator and the possibility to measure temperature in the tumor. Then the power is increased until the desired temperature is achieved.
Indications for local hyperthermia include chest wall recurrences, superficial malignant melanoma lesions, lymph node metastases of head & neck tumors – all of them validated in prospective randomied studies.