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Treatment planning and image guidance for radiofrequency ablation of large tumors.
This article addresses the two key challenges in computer-assisted percutaneous tumor ablation: planning multiple overlapping ablations for large tumors while avoiding critical structures, and executing the prescribed plan. Toward semiautomatic treatment planning for image-guided surgical interventions, we develop a systematic approach to the needle-based ablation placement task, ranging from preoperative planning algorithms to an intraoperative execution platform. The planning system incorporates clinical constraints on ablations and trajectories using a multiple objective optimization formulation, which consists of optimal path selection and ablation coverage optimization based on integer programming. The system implementation is presented and validated in both phantom and animal studies. The presented system can potentially be further extended for other ablation techniques such as cryotherapy.