You are on page 1of 2

Study of the therapeutic effectiveness of Microwave heating based therapy for the treatment of cancer

Probir Kumar Dhar Electronics and Communication Department. Bengal College of Engineering and Technology. SSB Sarani. Bidhan Nagar, Durgapur. West Bengal


Analytical model of tumor growth in the absence and on application of microwave heat (which are a non-ionizing form of radiation) based therapy is of major importance for studying the dynamics of treatment in oncology. A time varying state space model for tumor growth has been made and the tumor growth dynamics was observed to investigate the role of microwave heat based therapy in combination with other existing therapies. The system dynamics has been observed with different therapy administration strategies such as metronomic chemotherapy (MCT), maximum tolerable dose chemotherapy (MTD) in presence and in absence of microwave heat based therapy. It has been found that presence of controlled microwave heating may be a better workable strategy for positive treatment outcome. In practical case it has been observed that there is a deviation in output from the theoretical prediction. Since there is variation in biological parameters from person to person and it is not always possible to made separate theoretical prediction for a particular human body. In this paper this variation has been considered in system model equation. Stochastisity has been incorporated in the system controlling parameters to consider the variation in different human species [3]. Incorporation of controllability criterion has an advantage in the assessment of different therapeutic outcome.

perfuse through the tissue. But solid malignant tumors have less blood perfusion than the surrounding normal tissue. And hence for a given absorbed thermal dose, the tumor within normal tissue will therefore reach a higher temperature than the surrounding normal tissue. And tumors when heated to higher temperatures for at least an hour, in some cases it have been shown to decrease in size and to exhibit necrosis (death of the tumor cells). Therefore, hyperthermia also shrinks tumors. For tumors of the head, neck and breast etc a smaller tumor due to hyperthermia treatment may reduce the disfiguration associated with surgical removal of the tumor. Application of hyperthermia boost ups the immunity level within body and hence it may reduce the chance of future recurrence of the tumor growth. Again hyperthermia increases the drug sensitivity of the tumor cells. Hence it may result a positive outcome for the treatment of tumor growth when applied in combination with MCT and MTD.

The system model: In the system model different
types of tumor cells with two stages of maturation (less and more differentiated) are considered. The growth rate, apoptotic rate, transformation rate of each type of cells and transformation delay time from one type to another type tumor cells are also considered.


Microwave thermotherapy (hyperthermia) is a cancer treatment processes being followed since 80’s in many countries around the world. Biologically it is based on the fact, that cancerous tissue due to reduced blood flow is not able to survive the temperature above 41 degree C, while healthy tissue resist up to 45 degree C. So heating into this temperature interval cancerous cells can be selectively killed. [1] It has been found that within a certain percentage of patients tumors recur in local area. For example although modern treatments of breast cancer are quite effective, there is a percentage of patients in whom tumors will recur in the remaining breast tissue and the local area. Local chest wall recurrences have been reported in 3 to 22 percent of cases. [2] And this area cannot be treated easily by conventional therapy since surgery may be problematic and chemotherapy may not show significant response. Since the area is likely to have been irradiated before, large doses of radiation may not be recommended. The only solution to this problem is to elevate temperature of this affected region (tumor). Biological tissues are heated as a result of molecular excitation by the electromagnetic energy produced by the microwave treatment. The heat energy is dissipated in normal living tissues by blood

System equation: The dynamical equation of the
model is based on the difference equation. The whole is being iterated for about 1000 days, starting from day 1. Hence the system equation is a time-varying system and can be written as follows: N(t) = [N(t-1) + r(t-1)×N(t-1)] – [a(t-1)×N(t-1)] … (1) N(t) = [N(t-1) + r(t-1)×N(t-1) + dr(t-1) ×N(t-1)] – a(t1)×N(t-1)] …. (2) Where N stands for number of tumor cells at an instant of time t, which depends on the factors of multiplication rate (r), apoptosis rate (a) and also on the number of differentiated tumor cells from the main tumor cells. However for the main tumor cell compartment the factor of differentiation is a subtractive term and equation (1) will be governed when there is a time delay in differentiation. For the subsequent tumor cells equation (1) will be governed when the precursor cells are in the process of differentiation and the moment differentiation is being completed the state will be governed by the equation (2). Minor stochastic component has been incorporated to the system model equation to add a realistic flavor to the system model. System simulation: the simulation study has been done using MATLAB. The simulation results are given below.

Less Differentiated Tumor Cell Growth Dynamics with only hyperthermia. (e) 'Tumor stem cell and Less Differentiated Tumor Cell Growth Dynamics with hyperthermia and MTD only hyperthermia. (f)Tumor stem cell and Less Differentiated Tumor Cell Growth Dynamics with hyperthermia and MCT.

Fig 1 (a)

Fig1 (b)

Simulation results of only two compartments having four types of tumor cells (ie, sg, p1, p2, p3) are given here. Simulation results show a positive outcome with the application of microwave heating based therapy. Clinical trial and results: Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy for BPH (TUMT) - a treatment procedure for the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) shows a positive outcome. [7] Observation of data collected from clinical trial shows that Prolieve Thermodilatation® System based on microwave heating offers a symptomatic relief for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Number of patients treated ** Fig1(c) 115 92 Number of patients showing positive outcome 59 68 Duration of therapy Percentage of improvements In AUA symptom score >30% >30%

2 weeks 12 months

Fig1 (d)

Fig1 (e)

Fig1 (f)

Fig1 (a) Tumor stem cell and Less Differentiated Tumor
Cell Growth Dynamics. (b) Tumor stem cell and Less Differentiated Tumor Cell Growth Dynamics with MTD. (c) Tumor stem cell and Less Differentiated Tumor Cell Growth Dynamics with MCT. (d) Tumor stem cell and

The prolieve System claims to provide patient comfort during and after the procedure. It provides the following advantages over the other mode of therapy (a) Generally topical anesthesia only (b) 82% of patients go home without a catheter* (C) 99% of patients treated with the Prolieve System did not experience any form of erectile dysfunction following the treatment* * Results based on clinical trial, 140 patients treated. ** Total number of patients not including who discontinued Conclusion If a correct approach is made with a expert domain knowledge of physics, biology and physiology the perspectives of hyperthermia in oncology are very bright and promising. What we have in hand is a practically nontoxic effect with huge potential and advantages. However, we have to clarify the technical issues to make this method technically comparable, and provide for a control, which is safe enough in terms of modern medical demand. Proper selection of antenna radiator to target the actual tumor cell, proper control over the microwave power to maintain the temperature level required for the necrosis of the tumor cell, and development of a user friendly system for treatment procedure may make the system clinically successful.