How it was discovered hyperthermia kills Borrelia


If you’ve got Lyme or you know someone who has, you’ve probably heard of Dr Friedrich Douwes, a medical doctor who set up Klinik St Georg in Germany, initially for treating cancer, only to find that one of the main integrative therapies he was using for cancer, worked for killing Borrelia in Lyme disease as well: hyperthermia.

This main therapy was whole body hyperthermia (WBHT) and Dr Douwes has been using this therapy – along with other therapies – to treat cancer patients successfully for 40 years. But it was around the year 2000 when he treated two cancer patients who also had Lyme disease, and he found the high temperatures used in the hyperthermia also killed Borrelia.

This was a major discovery and in the years following, Dr Douwes hospital has treated many Lyme patients. In fact, these days, Klinik St Georg in Germany treats more patients have Lyme disease than those with cancer because the word has spread far and wide about how effective this treatment is.

Why did Dr Douwes use hyperthermia in the first place?

The reason Dr Douwes researched these alternative therapies was because he was dissatisfied with the outcomes he saw with conventional cancer treatment. He felt there must be more that could be done for cancer patients. At this time, conventional medicine gave people with cancer a 35% chance of survival. So Dr Douwes developed his own philosophy of integrative holistic medicine and even today, some hospitals, including the Veramed Hospitals in Brannenburg and Biomed Klinik in Bergzabern in Germany, now follow this model of medicine.

Dr. Douwes has continued to work actively and research new cancer therapies in addition to better treatments for Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses. He has become the go-to specialist for all kinds of hyperthermia treatment, including whole body, loco-regional and urethral prostate treatment protocols, and has successfully treated thousands of patients from all over the world, including many from Canada and the United States.

To treat his cancer patients he used some conventional and some unconventional therapies and he has continued to do this for 40 years with a great deal of success. Here is an excerpt from a book called: New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment: 10 Top Doctors Reveal Healing Strategies that Work, where Dr Douwes talks about how he discovered whole body hyperthermia was effective for eradicating Lyme disease. To learn more about the book and to read more about Dr. Douwes’ treatment approach, see: www.NewLymeTreatments.com.

Excerpt from Dr Douwes: It was entirely by coincidence that I began treating Lyme disease patients and ended up discovering a groundbreaking new treatment for Lyme.  It started in 2000, when two cancer patients who also had Lyme disease came to my clinic. One was from Boston, and the other was from Canada. The Canadian woman had advanced breast cancer with metastases to her lungs, liver and bones. When I took a history on these women, both told me that they actually suffered more from symptoms of Lyme than from symptoms of cancer! Their symptoms were typical of cancer, but because I had not worked with Lyme disease patients before, I did not know that some of their symptoms could also be due to Lyme disease.

I gave them whole-body hyperthermia treatments for their cancers. Hyperthermia in its various forms is a very effective and well-researched cancer treatment. Cancer cells die in the presence of high heat, so many doctors worldwide use hyperthermia on their cancer patients.

There are different types of hyperthermia, including whole-body hyperthermia, which is what we give both our Lyme and cancer patients. For this, the patient lies down inside of a special thermal chamber similar to a large incubator. It heats the body’s tissues to 41.6° Celsius (or 107° Fahrenheit). It takes two hours to raise the body to this temperature. Once there, the body is maintained at this temperature for two hours. After the treatment, it takes two more hours for the body to cool down, which means that the patient’s temperature is elevated for a total of six hours.

Once the body has reached the maximum temperature, we administer chemotherapy (for our cancer patients). Chemotherapy is activated and potentiated by heat, so hyperthermia makes it more effective. We have had such great success with this kind of treatment approach that our clinic has become well known internationally as a cancer treatment center, and we now see patients from all over the world.

Anyway, after these two women received hyperthermia treatment for their cancers, they told us that their Lyme symptoms had also disappeared! The brain fog, tingling in their fingers, fatigue and other symptoms—were all gone. We had associated the tingling with polyneuropathy, which is a side effect of chemotherapy, but in these women, it was a symptom caused by Lyme.

I pondered this and said to my work colleagues, “Do you remember that before there were antibiotics, doctors treated syphilis (which is similar to Borrelia in its composition, structure and behavior) by intentionally infecting patients with malaria to induce a fever, which then killed the syphilis?”  The treatment was called “malariotherapy.” Doctors would then give the syphilis patients the age-old drug quinine to control the fever and kill the malaria. Professor Julius Wagner-Jauregg at Vienna University was one of the first authorities in syphilis treatment, and he won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1927 for his discoveries.

When I recalled that doctors used to treat syphilis with heat, it made me wonder whether hyperthermia also might be effective against Borrelia, since the Borrelia organism is similar in its characteristics to syphilis. I said to my colleagues, “Could it be that our whole-body hyperthermia treatments could also be effective for Lyme disease?”

I researched the medical literature to discover whether any studies supported my hypothesis, and I found one that was conducted by a group of Swedish researchers in 1996. In the study, the researchers proved that Borrelia was “thermolabile,” or susceptible to destruction by heat, and could not tolerate high temperatures. At 39° C (or 102.2° F), they found that the spirochetes became immobile, and at 40° C (or 104° F) they shed their outer membrane, but when they were exposed to a temperature of 41.6° C (or 106.9° F) for two hours, 100 percent of the bacteria died.

I was excited to discover this, and I told my colleagues that this was exactly what we were doing by treating patients using hyperthermia; we were raising their body temperature to 41.6° C for two hours. So I suggested that we do this treatment on some Lyme disease patients just to see what would happen. I wanted to find out whether my theory had any substance, because up until this point, we had only been treating cancer patients.

Shortly thereafter, we found four or five patients with advanced Lyme disease, and gave them two whole-body hyperthermia treatments. We also gave them intravenous antibiotic therapy during the treatments and found that not only did the heat kill the microbes, but that the antibiotics were also more effective when their bodies’ temperature was elevated. This phenomenon was described in the Swedish study. According to the researchers of the study, if you administer Ceftriaxone or another antibiotic after elevating the patient’s body temperature to 41.6°, the medication’s activity becomes amplified 60-fold.

From our research and clinical observations, we discovered three things:

1)   Hyperthermia kills Lyme microbes
2)   Hyperthermia increases the effectiveness of antibiotics
3)   Hyperthermia decreases microbes’ resistance to antibiotics and enables antibiotics to get inside the cells much more easily.

After I had treated somewhere between five and seven patients with Lyme disease, I decided to attend a medical conference in the United States to learn more about the disease. While there, I sat next to a cardiologist who told me that he had been attending the conference because his entire family had been infected with Lyme while on vacation in Austria.  His wife was bedridden; his daughter had been a medical student, but could no longer attend medical school, and his younger son, who was a 10-year-old prodigy who had played the violin in public, could no longer even hold a violin and was unable to attend school.

I told the doctor that I had just discovered a new treatment for Lyme disease that was possibly superior to any other treatment modality out there, although it had only been tested on a few patients so far. The man, figuring that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain, traveled to Klinik St. Georg with his wife, son and daughter, and I treated them all with hyperthermia.

The results were amazing. The whole family got well, and the wife ended up going back to work in her husband’s clinic. The daughter finished medical school, and the son was able to play the violin again, and today – as far as I know – is the symphony conductor at his college. Successfully treating this family was the turning point for us in our approach to Lyme disease.

Our Success Rate with Hyperthermia

Not long after treating this family, we began to treat many more people with Lyme disease – maybe 50 per year initially. Now, we treat 150-200 people per year, and statistically, the patients that we see are those who have a long history of disease and who have seen somewhere between 10 and 20 doctors. They are people who have received all kinds of conventional and natural treatments, from nutrition to antibiotics—to you name it. So, when they get here, they are so-called “lost causes,” because no treatment or doctor has been able to help them thus far.

Fortunately, we have found that we are able to get 74.3% percent of these patients “back to life” (measured by a reduction of Burrascano-Score of at least 50%) by using hyperthermia, along with a variety of adjunct treatments. By the time they leave our hospital, they are functioning well and are able to return to work and live a normal life. And, I have many testimonials to prove this. You can find some of these on the Klinik St. George’s website here.


The remaining 9.6% percent of our patients do not experience any improvement. Now, keep in mind that we treat the most advanced cases of Lyme disease; people for whom every other treatment approach out there has failed. These people are the “worst of the worst.”

Yet, the results that we have had for others have been miraculous. We have seen people who were once bedridden or who used to have seizures every 50 minutes, or who were unable to even communicate, get well.  We have seen people who were once given a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and who couldn’t walk, return to having a normal life.

Since 2000, I have treated over 850 Lyme disease patients with mostly good results. Since we use antibiotics in conjunction with hyperthermia, I like to call our treatment approach “Antibiotic-Augmented Thermal Eradication (AAT) of Lyme disease.”

Hyperthermia is probably the only treatment out there that can eradicate Borrelia infections nearly 100 percent, because the heat goes deep into the connective tissue and joints, where most conventional treatments can’t penetrate. And, unlike other modalities, the microbes can’t develop resistance to this type of treatment. Of course, it’s unlikely that any modality can eradicate the microbes completely, because a 100 percent eradication rate doesn’t exist in medicine, but I feel that we have one of the highest rates of success in eliminating Borrelia.

Once we eliminate the Borrelia organisms with hyperthermia and antibiotics, the amount of Lyme neurotoxins in the body is also immediately and automatically reduced. This is because Borrelia throws out neurotoxins in the body literally every minute or every second, so once it is gone, this can no longer happen. Neurotoxins are one of the principal causes of symptoms in people with Lyme disease, especially neurological and rheumatic symptoms, and joint inflammation. They cause chronic, silent inflammation that is sometimes difficult to diagnose, but which causes other symptoms.

So we find that as soon as we eliminate the Borrelia, then the neurotoxins in the body also diminish to almost nothing, as does the inflammation.  We’ve had patients here that used to have seizures (a sign of encephalitis and brain inflammation), but as soon as their Borrelia was eliminated, their inflammation and seizures disappeared, too. It really has been remarkable.

More about Dr Douwes:

Dr Douwes studied medicine in Germany and Switzerland and received his board certification in Internal Medicine in 1975 at the University Hospital Göttingen. He completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. Subsequently, he became the medical director of Sonnenberg Hospital, an oncology, hematology, immunology and oncological rehabilitation center, in Bad Sooden-Allendorf, Germany.

For many years, Dr Douwes served as First Chairman of the charitable organization, Friends of Integrated Cancer Therapy. He is also President of the German Society for Oncology (DGO) and Founder of the German Society for Biological Cancer Control (GfBK) and Hyperthermia (DGHT).

Dr Douwes organizes seminars and conferences for physicians and therapists, which focus on biological cancer treatments. In 2011, he organized the first International Congress for Complementary Oncology, an event that features a variety of international guest speakers who focus on integrative cancer treatment approaches.

Dr Douwes is also a sought-after international lecturer at seminars and conferences.  Numerous films about his work have been made, including Life with Cancer, which was an award-winning film project. Norwegian television has also broadcast a 45-minute film about his work with cancer patients and his work has also been featured on both German and international television.

In 2015, Dr Douwes received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine (ACIM) “for his contributions to the advancement of the art and science of medicine, specifically as it relates to integrative oncology.”

Dr Douwes has authored countless scientific papers, which have been published in German and international journals. His work has been featured in Biological Medicine, Internal Journal of Clinical Oncology, Alternative Medicine, Journal for Alternative Complementary Therapy, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and Excerpta Medica. His work is also featured in several books.

What sets Dr. Douwes apart more than anything else is his warm and compassionate manner toward his patients. This, combined with his abundant knowledge about Lyme disease, cancer and other health conditions, makes him a unique person whom you will want on your side to overcome illness. To learn more about Dr Douwes’ work and Klink St Georg, visit the Lyme Support website at lymesupport.com or go to www.st-george-hospital.com.


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This article was written by Lyme Support (https://lymesupport.com) – Your Healing Connection. Lyme Support is a support network for people affected by tick borne illnesses. We are your ally on your healing journey and connect you with resources and education so you can find the healing path that works best for you. Lyme Support can refer you to hospitals in Germany and Mexico offering advanced holistic Lyme protocols. We can also provide personalized health coaching using a functional medicine approach.

For anyone struggling with a Lyme-like illness, a hospital that treats the body as a whole can offer a great deal of help. If you’d like more information about these specialized hospitals, we can help schedule you at a hospital and provide education on treatments. We strive to advocate for tick-borne illness by writing articles and speaking at conferences and support groups. Share you story with Lyme Support, where we understand your journey.

You can reach us at Lyme Support via email at info@lymesupport.com or by telephone at +1415.228.0296.

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