Purpose: The aim of this paper is to report thermal dosimetry characteristics of external deep regional pelvic hyperthermia combined with intravesical mitomycin C (MMC) for treating bladder cancer following transurethral resection of bladder tumour, and to use thermal data to evaluate reliability of delivering the prescribed hyperthermia dose to bladder tissue.
Materials and methods: A total of 14 patients were treated with MMC and deep regional hyperthermia (BSD-2000, Sigma Ellipse or Sigma 60). The hyperthermia objective was 42° ± 2 °C to bladder tissue for ≥40 min per treatment. Temperatures were monitored with thermistor probes and recorded values were used to calculate thermal dose and evaluate treatment. Anatomical characteristics were examined for possible correlations with heating.
Results: Combined with BSD-2000 standard treatment planning and patient feedback, real-time temperature monitoring allowed thermal steering of heat sufficient to attain the prescribed thermal dose to bladder tissue within patient tolerance in 91.6% of treatments. Mean treatment time for bladder tissue >40 °C was 61.9 ± 11.4 min and mean thermal dose was 21.3 ± 16.5 CEM43. Average thermal doses obtained in normal tissues were 1.6 ± 1.2 CEM43 for the rectum and 0.8 ± 1.3 CEM43 in superficial normal tissues. No significant correlation was seen between patient anatomical characteristics and thermal dose achieved in bladder tissue.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a hyperthermia prescription of 42° ± 2 °C for 40-60 min can be delivered safely to bladder tissue with external radiofrequency phased array applicators for a typical range of patient sizes. Using the available thermometry and treatment planning, the BSD-2000 hyperthermia system was shown to be an effective method of focusing heat regionally around the bladder with good patient tolerance.