This paper reviews systems and techniques to deliver simultaneous thermoradiotherapy of breast cancer. It first covers the clinical implementation of simultaneous delivery of superficial (microwave or ultrasound) hyperthermia and external photon beam radiotherapy, first using a Cobalt-60 teletherapy unit and later medical linear accelerators. The parallel development and related studies of the Scanning Ultrasound Reflector Linear Arrays System (SURLAS), an advanced system specifically designed and developed for simultaneous thermoradiotherapy, follows. The performance characteristics of the SURLAS are reviewed and power limitation problems at high acoustic frequencies (>3 MHz) are discussed along with potential solutions. Next, the feasibility of simultaneous SURLAS hyperthermia and intensity modulated radiation therapy/image-guided radiotherapy (IMRT/IGRT) is established based on published and newly presented studies. Finally, based on the encouraging clinical results thus far, it is concluded that new trials employing the latest technologies are warranted along with further developments in treatment planning.
- Breast cancer
- Chest wall recurrences
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy
- Simultaneous thermoradiotherapy
- Thermal radiosensitization