The HYPERcollar: A novel applicator for hyperthermia in the head and neck
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The purpose of this work was to define all features, and show the potential, of the novel HYPERcollar applicator system for hyperthermia treatments in the head and neck region. The HYPERcollar applicator consists of (1) an antenna ring, (2) a waterbolus system and (3) a positioning system. The specific absorption rate (SAR) profile of this applicator was investigated by performing infra-red measurements in a cylindrical phantom. Mandatory patient-specific treatment planning was performed as an object lesson to a patient with a laryngeal tumour and an artificial lymph node metastasis. Comfort tests with healthy volunteers have revealed that the applicator provides sufficient comfort to maintain in treatment position for an hour: the standard hyperthermia treatment duration in our centre. By phantom measurements, we established that a central focus in the neck can be obtained, with 50% iso-SAR lengths of 3.5 cm in transversal directions (x/y) and 9–11 cm in the axial direction (z). Using treatment planning by detailed electromagnetic simulations, we showed that the SAR pattern can be optimised to enable simultaneous encompassing of a primary laryngeal tumour and a lymph node metastasis at the 25% iso-SAR level. This study shows that the applicator enables a good control, and sufficient possibilities for optimisation, of the SAR pattern. In an ongoing clinical feasibility study, we will investigate the possibilities of heating various target regions in the neck with this apparatus.