Development of a Method for Improving the Electric Field Distribution in Patients Undergoing Tumor-Treating Fields Therapy
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Tumor-treating fields therapy involves placing pads onto the patient’s skin to create a low-intensity (1 - 3 V/cm), intermediate frequency (100 - 300 kHz), alternating electric field to treat cancerous tumors. This new treatment modality has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the USA to treat patients with both newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma. To deliver the prescribed electric field intensity to the tumor while minimizing exposure of organs at risk, we developed an optimization method for the electric field distribution in the body and compared the electric field distribution in the body before and after application of this optimization algorithm. To determine the electric field distribution in the body before optimization, we applied the same electric potential to all pairs of electric pads located on opposite sides of models. We subsequently adjusted the intensity of the electric field to each pair of pads to optimize the electric field distribution in the body, resulting in the prescribed electric field intensity to the tumor while minimizing electric fields at organs at risk. A comparison of the electric field distribution within the body before and after optimization showed that application of the optimization algorithm delivered a therapeutically effective electric field to the tumor while minimizing the average and the maximum field strength applied to organs at risk. Use of this optimization algorithm when planning tumor-treating fields therapy should maintain or increase the intensity of the electric field applied to the tumor while minimizing the intensity of the electric field applied to organs at risk. This would enhance the effectiveness of tumor-treating fields therapy while reducing dangerous side effects.
KeywordsTumor-treating fields Alternating electric field Optimization algorithm Cancer therapy Electric field calculation
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