With the increased attention worldwide on immunotherapy, the future of radiation therapy as a monotherapy is at risk of losing ground as the standard of care. In order to fight radio-resistant tumor types, oncologists are reaching for treatment solutions that can close the performance gap of existing therapies to increase tumor control. Monotherapy treatments, like radiation therapy, are being pushed aside by dual-therapy treatment programs. So what can be done to increase radio sensitivity, reduce toxicity and improve outcomes?
RF hyperthermia is one such dual-therapy technology that is leading the charge. Hyperthermia is an ideal adjunct therapy for radiation resistant tumors. Focused energy applied to the tumor site (targeting tumor heating of 41 C) is a highly effective radio-sensitizer. In addition, provides this heightened benefit with little to no-toxic effect to the patient.
- Known benefits of hyperthermia include:
- Increased oxygenation of the tumor site.
- Inhibits DNA repair.
- Assist in cell death during cellular s-phase.
- Increases in effective Gy dose by as much as 150 percent.
Phase III clinical studies have shown dramatic improvement of tumor control and long-term patient survival by adding RF hyperthermia. Targeted heating within four hours before or after radiation therapy can increase the radiosensitivity of the cancer tumor. The benefit of increased oxygenation of the tumor site can remain for up to 24 hours.
The Pyrexar family of highly reliable, deep regional and superficial/interstitial hyperthermia systems are based on 30 years of product development and tens of thousands of patient treatments. Pyrexar cancer treatment devices use radio frequency to deliver focused energy to the tumor site. This technology allows for superior heating of most soft tissue tumors, provides temperature mapping and treatment zone control, with emphasis on patient comfort.
At this year’s RSNA trade show in Chicago, Pyrexar will be introducing the next step in image guided thermal therapy, the newly redesigned BSD-2000 3D/MR. The benefit of the 3D/MR system is that it allows the oncologist and therapist to accurately visualize tumor and treatment zone temperatures using the MRI.
The new applicator, designed to fit the majority of tesla 1.5 systems, surrounds the patient’s body in the approximate area of the tumor. The patient and applicator are transported inside the MRI. The initial MRI image records the proton resonance frequency image using known baseline temperatures. As the system begins to heat the tumor area, subsequent images are taken. Software calculates the temperature dependent image changes and builds a 3-D temperature map of the tumor and surrounding tissue. Having live temperature data provides the operator easy retargeting, via control software, to ensure the tumor is within the treatment zone and has reached prescribed temperature and coverage. After treatment, applicator can be stored for normal MRI imaging workflow.