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Biophysics and Technology of Ultrasound Hyperthermia

  • K. Hynynen
Chapter
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Part of the Clinical Thermology book series (CLIN THERM)

Abstract

Although characterization of tissues with ultrasound has been a subject of wide interest for over 20 years, there has not been a similar interest in using ultrasound in cancer therapy since the early trials in the 1930s, when ultrasound was used in a manner similar to the use of X-rays for therapeutic purposes. There are probably several reasons for this. First, the theory and equipment used in the field of diagnostic ultrasonics also have other applications, e.g., in defense (sonar) and in industry (flaw detection). Therefore, there are more resources and personnel available for research and development. Second, the therapeutic effects of ultrasound cannot be quantified by measuring the intensity of the beam (as is the case with X-rays), but by the temperature elevation induced in the tumor, which produces the beneficial effects. Interest was further reduced by the rapid development of radiotherapy as a method of treating tumors. It was not until the end of the 1970s that the potential of ultrasound as a method of inducing hyperthermia was shown (Fig. 2.1). Even since then it has not become as popular as microwaves, despite its many advantages. The main reason for this lack of popularity has been that the devices required to utilize ultrasound properly in tumor heating are fairly complex and have not yet become commercially available. If good devices do become available, it is expected that there will be increased interest in ultrasound hyperthermia.

Keywords

Acoustic Impedance Acoustic Pressure Radiation Force Focus Ultrasound Acoustic Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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