BASELINE STRESS FROM HOUSING TEMPERATURE ALTERS BEHAVIORAL RESPONSES TO HYPERTHERMIA TREATMENT IN MICE
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Hyperthermia is an elevation of the core body temperature to above physiological levels that occurs during fever, intense exercise or heat exhaustion. Therapeutically, hyperthermia, by methods of local or whole body heating, has been developed as cancer therapy to target and kill cancer cells. This approach has a long history, since the time of Hippocrates, who believed that application of heat is one way an illness can be cured. Currently hyperthermia is being used most commonly in the clinical setting in combination with standard therapies such as chemo- and radiotherapy to treat cancer. Combination treatments so far have not included whole body hyperthermia and immunotherapy together in clinical trials. As previously established in our lab, housing temperatures of mice have an effect on the immune response to cancer. Taking into consideration the housing temperature, we aimed to establish a model for combining whole body hyperthermia with a checkpoint inhibitor. Results of preliminary experiments showed that mice housed at thermoneutral temperatures (~30˚C) have increased tolerance to the stress from the hyperthermia treatment compared to mice housed at standard, mandated temperatures (~22˚C), which might affect the outcomes of experiments testing new treatment strategies.