Development of a computational simulation tool to design a protocol for treating prostate tumours using transurethral laser photothermal therapy

Navid Manuchehrabadi, Liang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study was to design laser treatment protocols to induce sufficient thermal damage to a tumour embedded in a prostate model, while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue. Methods: A computational Monte Carlo simulation algorithm of light transport in a spherical prostatic tumour containing gold nanorods was developed to determine laser energy deposition. The laser energy absorption was then used to simulate temperature elevations in the tumour embedded in an elliptical human prostate model. The Arrhenius integral was coupled with the heat transfer model to identify heating protocols to induce 100% damage to the tumour, while resulting in less than 5% damage to the surrounding sensitive prostatic tissue. Results: Heating time to achieve 100% damage to the tumour was identified to be approximately 630s when using a laser irradiance of 7W/cm2 incident on the prostatic urethral surface. Parametric studies were conducted to show how the local blood perfusion rate and urethral surface cooling affect the heating time to achieve the same thermal dosage. The heating time was shorter when cooling at the urethra was not applied and/or with heat-induced vasculature damage. The identified treatment protocols were acceptable since the calculated percentages of the damaged healthy tissue volume to the healthy prostatic volume were approximately 2%, less than the threshold of 5%. The approach and results from this study can be used to design individualised treatment protocols for patients suffering from prostatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-361
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a National Science Foundation research grant CBET-1335958. The research was performed in partial fulfilment of the requirements from the University of Maryland Baltimore County for a doctoral degree by Navid Manuchehrabadi. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bioheat transfer
  • Gold nanorods
  • Laser photothermal therapy
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Prostate cancer
  • Treatment protocol design


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