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Laser interstitial thermotherapy of small breast fibroadenomas: Numerical simulations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-839
Number of pages8
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Background Laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) is potentially a novel method to treat small breast fibroadenoma, without the need for surgical removal. Dosimetry planning and conformation of the treated area of tumor remain major issues, especially for a moving organ such as the breast. Pre-treatment simulation planning of this therapy is an effective method to predict the final thermal damage. In this study, a mathematical model is elaborated to simulate the heat distribution and the thermal damage. Methods The mathematical model was based on finite element method (FEM) to solve the light distribution, bioheat, and thermal damage equations. Six simulations were performed with the following powers: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 W (λ = 980 nm), and for an irradiation time of 125 seconds, with a 50°C iso-damage temperature. To validate these simulations, six turkey breast samples were irradiated with parameters used for simulations. Volumes of thermal damage were calculated by using formulas: spherical, Elliptical, and Carlsson volumes and compared to the simulated volumes. Results Differences between volumes were from 0.01 to 1 cm3. Interpolations between volumes from ex vivo experiments with corresponding powers were established. The relationship between the volume of the thermal damage and the laser power was described by a polynomial equation (R2 = 0.99). The power estimated by the interpolation to obtain 1 cm3 of thermal damage was 7.4 W (922 J) and the maximum corresponding temperature was 90°C. Conclusion In this study, a good correlation was established between simulation and ex vivo experiments of LITT for fibroadenoma breast cancer.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • bioheat transfer simulation, fibroadenoma, laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT), thermal damage