Cancer is one of the main causes of death in the world and its incidence increases every day. Current treatments are insufficient and present many breaches. Hyperthermia is an old concept and was early established as a cancer treatment option, mainly in superficial cancers. More recently, the concept of intracellular hyperthermia emerged wherein magnetic particles are concentrated at the tumor site and remotely heated using an applied magnetic field to achieve hyperthermic temperatures (42-45ºC). Many patents have been registered in this area since the year 2000. This chapter presents the most relevant information organized in two main categories according to the use or not of nanotechnology. The patents without nanotechnology were divided into the following subcategories: 1) external Radio-Frequency devices; 2) hyperthermic perfusion; 3) frequency enhancers; 4) applying heat to the target site using a catheter; and 5) injection of magnetic and ferroelectric particles. The patents with nanotechnology were divided into three subcategories: 1) hyperthermia devices; 2) nanoparticles; and 3) nanostructures. The use of magnetic nanoparticles is a very promising treatment approach since it may be used for diagnostic and treatment. Magnetic nanoparticle could be applied to detect and diagnose the tumor and to carry a pharmacological active drug to be delivered in the tumor site or apply hyperthermia through an external magnetic field.
Keywords: Cancer treatment, electromagnetic field, ferromagnetism, frequency enhancers, hyperthermia, hyperthermic perfusion, iron oxide, magnetic field, magnetic nanoparticles, magnetite, microwave, nanostructures, nanotechnology, oncothermia, patents, radio-frequency, radiotherapy, superparamagnetism, theranostic, tumor.