Modeling a Focused Microwave System for Transcutaneous Thermal Therapy of Breast Cancer

J. Stang, B. Fowlkes, M. Moghaddam, O. Kripfgans, and P. Carson
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

A transcutaneous thermal therapy system is being developed for the targeted treatment of breast cancer cells using focused microwaves as an adjuvant to surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Prior imaging studies are used to ascertain the material properties of the breast tissue, and this data is incorporated into a COMSOL Multiphysics model. Time reversal techniques are then used to find an initial solution for focusing at a given location, and to precondition a weighted inverse solver that will optimize treatment planning for ablation at the tumor location while minimizing heating elsewhere in the breast.

A full wave forward model of the microwave therapy array has been created in COMSOL, and breast phantoms from the UWCEM Numerical Breast Phantoms Repository have been imported for initial testing. Coupling of the electromagnetic energy deposition to the bioheat equation is achieved using COMSOL Multiphysics, and a temperature map within the breast that accounts for perfusion effects has been modeled.