Hyperthermia treatment targets cancer tumor and boosts own body’s immune system

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – All week we’ve been showing the powerful effect of combining carefully administered heat and radiation has on advanced recurring cancerous tumors. 

Doctors at Gamma West Cancer Services say it doesn’t end there. 

They believe the treatment boosts the body’s overall immune system, re-programming the body to fight tumors without any targeted treatment.

The prospect for Randy Brees was grim. The St. George man suffered a stroke and the news kept getting worse.

“He just diagnosed me with stage 4 cancer,” said Randy. 

Doctors gave him several months to live and told him to prepare for hospice.

The tumor on his backside was so advanced, surgeons couldn’t remove it. Then doctors found cancer had spread to his colon and lungs. 

“I didn’t know if he would live or wouldn’t live. I didn’t know if he was going to make it,” said Rhonda Brees, Randy’s sister. 

Randy’s sister scoured the internet and found Dr. John Hayes at Gamma West in the Salt Lake Valley.

“The tumor in his rectum was so debilitating that he was on huge doses of narcotics that life was miserable,” said Dr. Hayes. 

He went through just four treatments of hyperthermia in a 2-week span. The medical treatment involves long needles inserted into the body and tumor that are heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, for an hour, and then Randy was given a dose of radiation.

A year and a half later, the large tumor is gone. But better yet?

In a phenomenon, Dr. Hayes calls the ‘abscopal effect,’ two other spots of cancer in his lungs and colon are gone without targeted treatment.

“Hyperthermia can jazz up the immune system. In other words, his own immune system was so programmed by the destruction of this tumor that 2 other tumors, one disappeared the other is getting smaller as time goes on,” said Dr. Hayes. 
 
“Dr. Hayes actually saved my life,” said Randy. 

“I think Randy is a walking miracle. We haven’t turned him into the He-Man he used to be, but he has a good life. His pain has gone away, his wound has healed and he has every expectation to living a long time,” said Dr. Hayes. 

Often times these are advanced cancer cases, but the company that makes these hyperthermia machines says treatment could start earlier.

The company is based in the Salt Lake Valley. We visit the location Thursday.

Click here for Randy’s full interview: 

Randy meets with Dr. Hayes: 

Click here for interview with Randy’s sister: 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah VP Debate

More Utah Debate