Thermal characteristics of thermobrachytherapy surface applicators for treating chest wall recurrence.
The aim of this study was to investigate temperature and thermal dose distributions of thermobrachytherapy surface applicators (TBSAs) developed for concurrent or sequential high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and microwave hyperthermia treatment of chest wall recurrence and other superficial diseases. A steady-state thermodynamics model coupled with the fluid dynamics of a water bolus and electromagnetic radiation of the hyperthermia applicator is used to characterize the temperature distributions achievable with TBSAs in an elliptical phantom model of the human torso. Power deposited by 915 MHz conformal microwave array (CMA) applicators is used to assess the specific absorption rate (SAR) distributions of rectangular (500 cm(2)) and L-shaped (875 cm(2)) TBSAs. The SAR distribution in tissue and fluid flow distribution inside the dual-input dual-output (DIDO) water bolus are coupled to solve the steady-state temperature and thermal dose distributions of the rectangular TBSA (R-TBSA) for superficial tumor targets extending 10-15 mm beneath the skin surface. Thermal simulations are carried out for a range of bolus inlet temperature (T(b) = 38-43 degrees C), water flow rate (Q(b) = 2-4 L min(-1)) and tumor blood perfusion (omega(b) = 2-5 kg m(-3) s(-1)) to characterize their influence on thermal dosimetry. Steady-state SAR patterns of the R- and L-TBSA demonstrate the ability to produce conformal and localized power deposition inside the tumor target sparing surrounding normal tissues and nearby critical organs. Acceptably low variation in tissue surface cooling and surface temperature homogeneity was observed for the new DIDO bolus at a 2 L min(-1) water flow rate. Temperature depth profiles and thermal dose volume histograms indicate bolus inlet temperature (T(b)) to be the most influential factor on thermal dosimetry. A 42 degrees C water bolus was observed to be the optimal choice for superficial tumors extending 10-15 mm from the surface even under significant blood perfusion. Lower bolus temperature may be chosen to reduce the thermal enhancement ratio (TER) in the most sensitive skin where maximum radiation dose is delivered and to extend the thermal enhancement of radiation dose deeper. This computational study indicates that well-localized elevation of tumor target temperature to 40-44 degrees C can be accomplished by large surface-conforming TBSAs using appropriate selection of coupling bolus temperature.
Arunachalam, K; Maccarini, PF; Craciunescu, OI; Schlorff, JL; Stauffer, PR
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