The Required Patient Modeling Realism in Radiofrequency Heating Simulation Studies
Clinical effectiveness of hyperthermia would benefit from a more controlled and target conformal heating of the tumor. Over the years, dosimetry using electromagnetic simulators has become a potent tool to study improvements in the application of hyperthermia. Literature suggests that simulation accuracy is dependent on the realism of the patient models. In this work, we compare the results for a detailed head and neck patient model to those for models with an approximated shape, a reduced tissue number and/or a spherical target volume. Our comparison shows a relative difference above 25% in the administered power absorption pattern. This large difference calls upon 1) follow-up research to establish the true impact using a larger set of patient models and 2) the development of a reference set of patient models to facilitate benchmarking of novel devices, methods and treatment approaches.