Unusually high body temperature.

hyper·thermal adj.

Hyperthermia is also an alternative remedy that has been used for hundreds of years in treating infectious and non-infectious diseases. This treatment has been shown effective in treating syphilis and, in addition to chemotherapy and radiation, some forms of cancer.

The treatment itself involves gradually raising the temperature of the blood to over 104 degrees (F) for a short period of time. This can be done one of two ways:
1. Immersion of the patient in a hot bath for a period of about an hour or so.
2. Removing the blood from the body through a catheter, heating it, and re-inserting it back into the patient. This method is called extracorporeal hyperthermia.
This second method is employed in the medical field as a valid treatment for some cancers and syphilis. The complications of this procedure are high, and therefore, it still remains a last resort, and rare method.

The rationale behind the procedure is this; By raising the body temperature and artificially creating a fever, pathogens and cancer cells that are sensitive to higher temperatures will be killed off. Also, the body's immune system, due to the fever, is stimulated, and the amount of interferon and white blood cells increase, further killing pathogens.

In a controversial experiment conducted in May and June of 1990, Dr. Kenneth Alonso, a pathologist, and Dr. William Logan Jr., a surgeon, gave the extracorporeal hyperthermia to two AIDS sufferers.

The first patient, a 23 year old man with Kaposi's Sarcoma, was remarkably improved by the procedure. He claimed that his lesions were reduced, and that he was "cured". His T-cell count increased after the procedure and his viral count was near zero.

The second patient, a 38 year old man with late-stage AIDS, remained unaffected by the treatment and continued to worsen.

Federal researchers deny that this treatment caused the first patient's remission, and do not support the treatment. Research into this therapy is not supported, and therefore, little is known about it's actual validity.

Pharmaceutical companies also are not interested in the research on this subject, because the procedure, although risky, involves little equipment and is relatively inexpensive.

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