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Turning Up the Heat on Cancer

Caroline Maake can continue to develop her promising hyperthermia approach thanks to two funding projects. (Picture: Nathalie Huber)

A new kind of heat treatment could be an effective way of supporting cancer therapy. Caroline Maake heats up tumors using naturally occurring nanoparticles, which has shown to eliminate cancer cells in animal models. Thanks to two funding projects, the UZH professor can continue to develop this promising approach and use it on horses suffering from tumors of the connective tissue.


The fact that heat can help fight cancer has been known since antiquity: “Sometimes after a long period of high fever the cancer suddenly receded,” explains Caroline Maake, professor of anatomy at the University of Zurich. As we know today, this is because cancer cells are more sensitive to heat than healthy cells. Caroline Maake has teamed up with French physicist Edouard Alphandéry to study a novel approach for treating cancer with hyperthermia using magnetic nanoparticles containing iron oxide. Maake and Alphandéry have now been awarded funding to continue with their research into the benefits of this form of hyperthermia treatment. As part of the Eurostars framework program for research and innovation, the two scientists will work together with researchers at the Vetsuisse Faculty of UZH. Next spring, the UZH research group will start treating horses suffering from cancer.