From the RSNA refresher courses: MR imaging in hyperthermia.
There is growing clinical evidence that the combination of radiation therapy and hyperthermia, when delivered at moderate temperatures (40 degrees-45 degrees C) for sustained times (30-90 minutes), is of benefit with regard to palliative relief of cancer, tumor response, local control, and survival. Adequate measurement of the temperature distribution achieved with the hyperthermia is a key element in successful therapy. Thermal dosimetry, even invasive dosimetry, is a complex topic when applied to the heterogeneous tissue of a tumor and associated organ systems. Imaging in hyperthermia therapy is performed primarily for estimation and control of temperature. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has unique parameter dependences that make it possible to monitor hyperthermia therapy by detection of proton resonant frequency changes or diffusion coefficient changes. In addition, MR imaging can be used to assess vascular parameters that not only allow selection of suitable patients for therapy but may also allow demonstration of response to therapy. Finally, as the use of thermally sensitive liposomes for delivery of chemotherapeutic agents is developed, MR imaging may allow determination of local drug dose.
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