Modelling heating of liver tumours with heterogeneous magnetic microsphere deposition

N. Tsafnat*, G. Tsafnat, T. D. Lambert, S. K. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Ferromagnetic embolization hyperthermia (FEH) is a novel treatment for liver cancer. Magnetic microspheres are injected into the hepatic artery and cluster in the periphery of tumours and are heated with externally applied magnetic fields. In order to more accurately simulate FEH, we modelled a three-dimensional heterogeneous distribution of heat sources. We constructed a fractal model of the vasculature in the periphery of a tumour. We used this model to compute the spatial distribution of the microspheres that lodge in capillaries. We used the distribution model as input to a finite-element heat transfer model of the FEH treatment. The overall appearance of the vascular tree is subjectively similar to that of the disorganized vascular network which encapsulates tumours. The microspheres are distributed in the tumour periphery in similar patterns to experimental observations. We expect the vasculature and microsphere deposition models to also be of interest to researchers of any targeted cancer therapies such as localized intra-arterial chemotherapy and selective internal radiotherapy. Our results show that heterogeneous microsphere distributions give significantly different results to those for a homogeneous model and thus are preferable when accurate results are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2937-2953
Number of pages17
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

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