Oct 4, 2021

ESHO Benchmarks for Computational Modeling and Optimization in Hyperthermia Therapy

Margarethus M. Paulides, Dario B. Rodrigues, Gennaro G. Bellizzi, Kemal Sumser, Sergio Curto, Esra Neufeld, Hazael Montanaro, H. Petra Kok, and Hana Dobsicek Trefna, International Journal of Hyperthermia 2021, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp. 1425–1442, online 28 September 2021; doi:10.1080/02656736.2021.1979254

The success of cancer hyperthermia (HT) treatments is strongly dependent on the temperatures achieved in the tumor and healthy tissues as it correlates with treatment efficacy and safety, respectively. Hyperthermia treatment planning (HTP) simulations have become pivotal for treatment optimization due to the possibility for pretreatment planning, optimization and decision making, as well as real-time treatment guidance. The same computational methods deployed in HTP are also used for in silico studies, which are of great relevance for the development of new HT devices and treatment approaches. To aid this work, 3D patient models have been recently developed and made available to the HT community. Unfortunately, there is no consensus regarding tissue properties, simulation settings, and benchmark applicators, which significantly influence the clinical relevance of computational outcomes. Herein, we propose a comprehensive set of applicator benchmarks, efficacy and safety optimization algorithms, simulation settings, and clinical parameters to establish benchmarks for method comparison and code verification, to provide guidance, and in view of the 2021 ESHO Grand Challenge. We aim to establish guidelines to promote standardization within the HT community such that the benefits of novel approaches can be proven as quickly as possible in clinically relevant simulation scenarios. The focus of this is primarily on radiofrequency and microwave HT, but, since 3D simulation studies on heating with ultrasound are now a reality, guidance as well as a benchmarks for ultrasound-based HT are also included.

The scientific and technical impact of the study can be summarized as:

  • New HT applicator benchmarks, anatomical models, and simulation parameters with a focus on current clinical HT applications in the pelvic region, head and neck, and breast are presented to stimulate standardization in simulation studies of HT technology
  • Resulting advances in standardization are expected to improve treatment quality and facilitate the comparison of different HT approaches
  • The benchmarks presented are expected to drive technological advances and are critical for code verification and quality assurance
  • The benchmarks can serve as objective metrics for objective quantification of submissions to the forthcoming ESHO Grand Challenge 2021