Cancer is one of the main causes of death in the world and its incidence increases every day. Current treatments are insufficient and present many breaches. Hyperthermia is an old concept and since early it was established as a cancer treatment option, mainly in superficial cancers. More recently the concept of intracellular hyperthermia emerged wherein magnetic particles are concentrated at the tumor site and remotely heated using an applied magnetic field to achieve hyperthermic temperatures (42-45°C). Many patents have been registered in this area since the year 2000. This review presents the most relevant information, organizing them according to the hyperthermic method used: 1) external Radio- Frequency devices; 2) hyperthermic perfusion; 3) frequency enhancers; 4) apply heating to the target site using a catheter; 5) injection of magnetic and ferroelectric particles; 6) injection of magnetic nanoparticles that may carry a pharmacological active drug. The use of magnetic nanoparticles is a very promising treatment approach since it may be used for diagnostic and treatment. An ideal magnetic nanoparticle would be able to detect and diagnose the tumor, carry a pharmacological active drug to be delivered in the tumor site, apply hyperthermia through an external magnetic field and allow treatment monitoring by magnetic resonance imaging.
Keywords: Cancer treatment, external magnetic field, hyperthermia, magnetic nanoparticles, hyperthermic perfusion, catheter, Radio-Frequency, conventional therapies, chemotherapeutic agent, heat therapy