Ferromagnetic Thermal Ablation of Prostate Tumor

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There are many forms of treatment for prostate cancer. One set of treatments is called hyperthermia, the heating of tumor tissue to destroy it. Thermal ablation is a form of hyperthermia that destroys both normal and cell tissue. It occurs at temperatures of about 46 C or above. Heating is accomplished via various methods that have their own advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, heating can be local, regional, or whole-body, meaning it can focus on small specific location, large organ areas, or the whole body. Our project focuses on ferromagnetic heating of local tumors. Ferromagnetic materials are magnetic materials that heat under an alternating, appropriately oriented, magnetic field. They heat until they reach their Curie point, the temperature at which they become non-magnetic and stop heating. The advantages of ferromagnetic heating is that is self-regulating since ferromagnetic implants will not heat beyond their Curie point, it can be easily localized since implants can be inserted in various configuratoins, it is repeatable if the implants do not degrade, and it is relatively inexpensive. Our goal was to simulate, via computational methods, the work done by Thermal Ablation Technologies, a company that designs ferromagnetic heating systems for thermal ablation of prostate tumors. We will examine the results of computer simulations of single implants and an array of implants. These results will be displayed in the form of temperature contours at specific times and temperature-time history plots at specific locations. We will determine from our analysis which parameters of ferromagnetic implant design are most crucial.
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