The original objectives and goals of the project and the Concerted Action were:
(a) - to create a network for exchange of scientific, technical and clinical information in the field of Hyperthermia
(b) - to improve hyperthermic technologies in heating, thermometry (including non-invasive techniques) and treatment planning
(c) - to set up concerted clinical actions at the European level to determine the best conditions in which hyperthermia may be administered to patients so as to increase local control of tumours
(d) - to assess clinical efficacy of hyperthermia treatment
(e) - to determine guidelines for improving hyperthermia treatment quality.
A network of interlaboratory collaborations involving approximately 270 scientists and clinicians from more than 100 institutions was set up in the area of clinical hyperthermia to improve the technology related to hyperthermia treatment and stimulate a concerted clinical action on a European level. Areas of research covered electromagnetic and ultrasound heating, invasive and noninvasive thermometry, modelling and treatment planning and guidelines for quality assurance. Achievements were as follows:
identification of ultrasound as a promising heating modality;
standardization and intercomparison of mathematical models developed in European laboratories;
assessment of noninvasive thermometry techniques and support of preclinical studies;
definition of European guidelines for quality assurance procedures for patient treatment;
transfer of technology to European companies;
support to European phase III clinical trials in hyperthermia;
exchange of expertise between European centres and training of young scientists and clinicians;
consensus between clinicians and scientists on future developments.
The network has led to several ongoing collaborative projects (compatibility of microwave imaging with deep heating systems, availability of LED matrix technique for quality assurance studies in deep body hyperthermia). Progress has been made towards standardization and quality assurance of hyperthermia treatment for the benefit of multicentre clinical trials.