Progress on system for applying simultaneous heat and brachytherapy to large-area surface disease
Laboratory experiments have shown that thermal enhancement of radiation response increases substantially for higher thermal dose (approaching 100 CEM43) and when hyperthermia and radiation are delivered simultaneously. Unfortunately, equipment capable of delivering uniform doses of heat and radiation simultaneously has not been available to test the clinical potential of this approach. We present recent progress on the clinical implementation of a system that combines the uniform heating capabilities of flexible printed circuit board microwave array applicators with an array of brachytherapy catheters held a fixed distance from the skin for uniform radiation of tissue < 1.5 cm deep with a scanning high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy source. The system is based on the Combination Applicator which consists of an array of up to 32 Dual Concentric Conductor (DCC) apertures driven at 915 MHz for heating tissue, coupled with an array of 1 cm spaced catheters for HDR therapy. Efforts to optimize the clinical interface and move from rectangular to more complex shape applicators that accommodate the entire disease in a larger number of patients are described. Improvements to the system for powering and controlling the applicator are also described. Radiation dosimetry and experimental performance results of a prototype 15 × 15 cm dual-purpose applicator demonstrate dose distributions with good homogeneity under large contoured surfaces typical of diffuse chestwall recurrence of breast carcinoma. Investigations of potential interaction between heat and brachytherapy components of a Combination Applicator demonstrate no perceptible perturbation of the heating field from an HDR source or leadwire, no perceptible effect of a scanning HDR source on fiberoptic thermometry, and <0.5% variation of radiation dose delivered through the CMA applicator. By applying heat and radiation simultaneously for maximum synergism of modalities, this dual therapy system should expand the number of patients that can benefit from effective thermoradiotherapy treatments.
Stauffer, PR; Schlorff, JL; Juang, T; Neuman, DG; Johnson, JE; Maccarini, PF; Pouliot, J
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