FDTD analysis of a noninvasive hyperthermia system for brain tumors

Biomed Eng Online. 2012 Aug 14;11:47. doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-11-47.


Background: Hyperthermia is considered one of the new therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment and is based on the difference in thermal sensitivity between healthy tissues and tumors. During hyperthermia treatment, the temperature of the tumor is raised to 40-45°C for a definite period resulting in the destruction of cancer cells. This paper investigates design, modeling and simulation of a new non-invasive hyperthermia applicator system capable of effectively heating deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors using inexpensive, simple, and easy to fabricate components without harming surrounding healthy brain tissues.

Methods: The proposed hyperthermia applicator system is composed of an air filled partial half ellipsoidal chamber, a patch antenna, and a head model with an embedded tumor at an arbitrary location. The irradiating antenna is placed at one of the foci of the hyperthermia chamber while the center of the brain tumor is placed at the other focus. The finite difference time domain (FDTD) method is used to compute both the SAR patterns and the temperature distribution in three different head models due to two different patch antennas at a frequency of 915 MHz.

Results: The obtained results suggest that by using the proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system it is feasible to achieve sufficient and focused energy deposition and temperature rise to therapeutic values in deep seated as well as superficial brain tumors without harming surrounding healthy tissue.

Conclusions: The proposed noninvasive hyperthermia system proved suitable for raising the temperature in tumors embedded in the brain to therapeutic values by carefully selecting the systems components. The operator of the system only needs to place the center of the brain tumor at a pre-specified location and excite the antenna at a single frequency of 915 MHz. Our study may provide a basis for a clinical applicator prototype capable of heating brain tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Head / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors