Dosimetric and thermal properties of a newly developed thermobrachytherapy seed with ferromagnetic core for treatment of solid tumors.

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PURPOSE: Studies of the curative effects of hyperthermia and radiation therapy on treatment of cancer show a strong evidence of a synergistic enhancement when both radiation and hyperthermia modalities are applied simultaneously. Varieties of tissue heating approaches developed up to date still fail to overcome such essential limitations as an inadequate temperature control, temperature nonuniformity, and prolonged time delay between hyperthermia and radiation treatments. The authors propose a new self-regulating thermobrachytherapy seed, which serves as a source of both radiation and heat for concurrent administration of brachytherapy and hyperthermia.

METHODS: The proposed seed is based on the BEST Medical, Inc., Seed Model 2301-I(125), where tungsten marker core and the air gap are replaced with a ferromagnetic material. The ferromagnetic core produces heat when subjected to alternating electromagnetic (EM) field and effectively shuts off after reaching the Curie temperature (T(C)) of the ferromagnetic material thus realizing the temperature self-regulation. The authors present a Monte Carlo study of the dose rate constant and other TG-43 factors for the proposed seed. For the thermal characteristics, the authors studied a model consisting of 16 seeds placed in the central region of a cylindrical water phantom using a finite-element partial differential equation solver package "COMSOL Multiphysics."

RESULTS: The modification of the internal structure of the seed slightly changes dose rate and other TG-43 factors characterizing radiation distribution. The thermal modeling results show that the temperature of the thermoseed surface rises rapidly and stays constant around T(C) of the ferromagnetic material. The amount of heat produced by the ferromagnetic core is sufficient to raise the temperature of the surrounding phantom to the therapeutic range. The phantom volume reaching the therapeutic temperature range increases with increase in frequency or magnetic field strength.

CONCLUSIONS: An isothermal distribution matching with the radiation isodose distribution can be achieved within a target volume by tuning frequency and intensity of the alternating magnetic field. The proposed combination seed model has a potential for implementation of concurrent brachytherapy and hyperthermia.





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Medicine and Health Sciences | Oncology




Department of Radiation Oncology

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