Purpose: To evaluate the targetability of late-stage cervical cancer by magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MRgHIFU)-induced hyperthermia (HT) as an adjuvant to radiation therapy (RT). Methods: Seventy-nine cervical cancer patients (stage IIIB–IVA) who received RT with lesions visible on positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) were retrospectively analyzed for targetability using a commercially-available HT-capable MRgHIFU system. Targetability was assessed for both primary targets and/or any metastatic lymph nodes using both posterior (supine) and anterior (prone) patient setups relative to the transducer. Thirty-four different angles of rotation along subjects’ longitudinal axis were analyzed. Targetability was categorized as: (1) Targetable with/without minimal intervention; (2) Not targetable. To determine if any factors could be used for prospective screening of patients, potential associations between demographic/anatomical factors and targetability were analyzed. Results: 72.15% primary tumors and 33.96% metastatic lymph nodes were targetable from at least one angle. 49.37% and 39.24% of primary tumors could be targeted with patient laying in supine and prone positions, respectively. 25°–30° rotation and 0° rotation had the highest rate of the posterior and anterior targetability, respectively. The ventral depth of the tumor and its distance to the coccyx were statistically correlated with the anterior and posterior targetability, respectively. Conclusion: Most late-stage cervical cancer primaries were targetable by MRgHIFU HT requiring either no/minimal intervention. A rotation of 0° or 25°–30° relative to the transducer might benefit anterior and posterior targetability, respectively. Certain demographic/anatomic parameters might be useful in screening patients for treatability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-510
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • HIFU
  • hyperthermia
  • interventional oncology
  • thermal therapy
  • treatment planning


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