Introduction: The growing interest and participation in multi-institutional trials involving deep hyperthermia treatment is an important step towards the further consolidation of hyperthermia as an oncological treatment modality. However, the differences in the clinical procedures of hyperthermia application also raises questions as how to compare the reported temperatures data obtained by the different institutes. In this study our recent developed approach, RHyThM (Rotterdam Hyperthermia Thermal Modulator), has been used for thermal data analysis to investigate the temperature dynamics behaviour of a series of deep hyperthermia treatments. Patients and methods: All 22 patients (104 hyperthermia treatments) with locally advanced cervical carcinoma who participated in a feasibility study for treatment with a three-modality therapy were selected. The patients received mega-voltage external beam radiotherapy to the pelvis in daily fractions of 2 Gy five times a week to a total dose of 46 Gy and additional brachytherapy, at least four courses of weekly cisplatin (40 mg m-2) and five sessions of weekly loco regional deep hyperthermia treatments with the BSD2000-3D with the Sigma 60 or the Sigma-eye applicators at frequencies 70-120 MHz. Using RHyThM tissue type was defined along the insertion length, based on the CT scan information in radiotherapy position, for each single treatment. A step change in the slope of the profile of the first temperature map was identified to verify the insertion length of the thermometry catheter and precise location of the transition between in- and outside the body. Data analysis was performed based on the temperature readout provided by RHyThM. Results: The temperature and RF-power data of 97 treatments could be analysed. The intra-vaginal temperature indices were slightly lower than those for bladder and rectum. The average T50 (median temperature) in all lumens, i.e. bladder, vagina and rectum, was 40.4±0.6°C. The average vagina all lumen T50 was 40.0±0.8°C. The average bladder and rectum all lumen T50 was 40.6±0.7°C and 40.5±0.6, respectively. When the analysis was restricted to the deepest 5 cm of the vagina lumen, the average T50 was 39.8±0.9°C. Good correlation exists between the various temperature indices like T20, T50 and T90, for all lumen measurements in bladder, vagina and rectum. No correlation was found between temperature indices and treatment number. For the complete patient population, no relationship was found between T50 and net integrated RF-power applied. In an explorative analysis on individual patients a positive correlation coefficient or trend was found in 14 patients between normalized net integrated RF-power and vagina T50. Conclusion: Average all lumen T50 for bladder, vagina and rectum differ less than 1°C, indicating that a large volume was heated relatively homogeneously. The vagina T50 value depends on how many measurement points are included for the analysis. In this group of patients the vagina T50 of the first treatment is not a good measure to discriminate between patients with 'heatable' and 'non-heatable' tumours. In order to compare temperature data reported by different institutes dealing with the same group of patients, one needs a strict and clear agreement on which temperature measurements or reference point(s) that should be included in the analysis.

Cervical cancer, Hyperthermia, Quality assurance, Temperature data analysis,
International Journal of Hyperthermia
Department of Radiation Oncology

Fatehi, D, van der Zee, J, van der Wal, E, Wieringen, W.N, & van Rhoon, G.C. (2006). Temperature data analysis for 22 patients with advanced cervical carcinoma treated in Rotterdam using radiotherapy, hyperthermia and chemotherapy: A reference point is needed. International Journal of Hyperthermia, 22(4), 353–363. doi:10.1080/02656730600715796