An edge-element based finite element model of microwave heating in hyperthermia: application to a bolus design
AbstractHeating of superficial tumours with microwave waveguide applicators has been shown in phase III trials to significantly improve the local control of small lesions when combined with radiation therapy. This success has not yet translated to the treatment of larger tumours, due to difficulty in adequately heating the entire tumour region. Several modifications to the water bolus used with external waveguide applicators have been made in the past in order to increase the heating area. One such modification consisted of a large, microwave-absorbing patch placed inside the bolus, which flattens out the beam profile produced by the applicator. Using this bolus instead of a conventional one resulted in a 30% increase in the effective heating volume produced by the BSD MA120 applicator. This paper describes an optimization procedure for this bolus design which utilises a new finite element model of microwave heating described in an accompanying paper. The optimization procedure resulted in a further 28% increase in the effective heating volume.