Local hyperthermia is one of the heat therapies for cancer patients. The effect of this therapy is recognized to affect the immune function. On the other hand, researchers have recently suggested that vitamin E has not only antioxidant but also other functions including the immune function. However, the association between local hyperthermia therapy and vitamin E level is not yet well understood. Comparing plasma alpha and gamma tocopherol levels before and after the therapy, the basal levels of both tocopherols in the cancer patients did not significantly differ from those in healthy subjects. However, the interindividual difference in the basal levels was very wide in the cancer patients. After long-term local hyperthermia (more than 70 days), the levels of both tocopherols were significantly higher than the basal levels. This result suggests that long-term local hyperthermia therapy influences plasma tocopherol level in cancer patients; thus, an increase in vitamin E level may play an important role in the therapy of cancer patients.
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