Technology in hyperthermia is complex and rapidly evolving. Clinical treatments are not necessarily routine in the sense that therapy can be delivered without consideration of the technical limitations of available heating modalities and associated equipment. Thus, physics/engineering input into treatment decisions are essential. Also, insight into technological innovations can only come from a presence of technical expertise in the clinic. Finally, this expertise is required to develop and test new technologies. The goal of the engineering core is to provide technical support for the research projects in this program. This support is defined under three specific aims: 1) Technical support and QA for clinical protocols in PI, PII, Pill. 2) Development of equipment for inducing and monitoring hyperthermia. 3) Support verifications numerical models in PIV. 4) Develop hyperthermia equipment having functional compatibility with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in PV.
Aim l is essentially a QA issue for clinical protocols that is addressed by an active presence of core personnel during clinical treatments. The primary focus of Aim 2 will draw on past clinical experience to develop a combined regional and local heating system. This system together with vasoactive agents will test strategies in Pll for achieving higher and more uniform local temperatures by reducing heat losses due to blood flow.
Aim 3 provides active participation of the core in prospective and retrospective testing of numerical models of power deposition and thermal distributions respectively in PIV.
Aim 5 primarily will test the feasibility of using Chemical Shift MRI for non-invasive thermometry. Preliminary data indicate that this technique can provide desired temperature and spatial resolution in gradient echo phase images obtained during hyperthermia. Additionally, MRI and MRS studies are planned for all of the projects in this program and the engineering core will technically support these efforts as required.
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