Frequently Asked Questions

Microwave Thermal Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

What is Microwave Thermal Therapy?

Microwave Thermal Therapy is a type of cancer treatment in which tumors are exposed to elevated body temperatures, between 104˚ and 113°F.  Research has shown that high temperatures can damage and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues. Higher temperatures selectively damage cells that are hypoxic and have low pH, a condition of tumor cells and not a condition of normal cells. Microwave Thermal Therapy has been shown to inhibit cellular repair mechanisms, induce heat-shock proteins, denature proteins, induce apoptosis, and inhibit angiogenesis.

Tumour hypoxia
is the situation where tumor cells have been deprived of oxygen. As a tumor grows, it rapidly outgrows its blood supply, leaving portions of the tumor with regions where the oxygen concentration is significantly lower than in healthy tissues.
Heat shock proteins
are a family of proteins that are produced by cells in response to exposure to stressful conditions.
is the process of programmed cell death (PCD)
is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels.

What is Superficial Microwave Thermal Therapy?

Superficial Microwave Thermal Therapy approaches are used to treat tumors that are in or just below the skin. External applicators are positioned around or near the appropriate region, and energy is focused on the tumor to raise its temperature.  The BSD-500 is used shown excellent results in clinical studies on recurrent and progressive Melanoma, Squamous or basal-cell carcinoma, Sarcoma and Adenocarcinoma.

What is Interstitial Microwave Thermal Therapy?

The BSD-500 can bring therapeutic Microwave Thermal Therapy to solid tumors via catheters placed into the body, usually done during the bracytherapy process.  The BSD-500 delivers energy to a patient using a power source and an array of multiple antennas insterted into the catheters.  RF enregy is applied at 915 MHz to provide an optimized heating zone targeted to the tumor region by utilizing the adjustment of frequency, phase, and amplitude from multiple power sources.

What is Deep Regional Microwave Thermal Therapy?

The BSD-2000 provides deep regional therapeutic Microwave Thermal Therapy to solid tumors by applying radiofrequency (RF) energy at the frequency range of 75 to 120 MHz. The BSD-2000 delivers energy to a patient using a power source and an array of multiple antennae that surround the patient’s body. The system provides an optimized heating zone targeted to the tumor region by utilizing the adjustment of frequency, phase, and amplitude from multiple power sources. The energy can be focused electronically to the tumor region, thus providing dynamic control of the heating delivered to the tumor region.

How does Microwave Thermal Therapy work with Radiation Therapy?

Microwave Thermal Therapy increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy due to the independent cytotoxic effects of Microwave Thermal Therapy combined with its radiosensitizing effects. Microwave Thermal Therapy increases blood flow, resulting in improved tissue oxygenation and thus increased radiosensitivity. Microwave Thermal Therapy also interferes with cellular repair of the DNA damage caused by radiation. Microwave Thermal Therapy damages cells that are hypoxic, have a low pH, and are in the S-phase of division, which are all conditions that make cells resistant to radiation therapy. The addition of Microwave Thermal Therapy does not usually increase toxicity of radiation therapy.

How does Microwave Thermal Therapy work with Chemotherapy?

Microwave Thermal Therapy used in combination with chemotherapy increases the drug concentration in the tumor region duet to increased blood flow, thus raising the effectiveness of cytostatic drugs.  In addition Microwave Thermal Therapy has been proven to enhance drug toxicity in cells resistant to many drugs.

Why is it more commonly used in Recurrent Cancer Treatment?

There is a lifetime limit to the amount of radiation a patient can be exposed to.  So doctors must look for alternative therapies when treating cancer that has returned.  This is where clinical trials flourish. It was found that Microwave Thermal Therapy sensitized tumors to radiation treatment allowing Radiation Oncologist to treat recurrent cancer with less toxicity.

Is there Clinical Evidence?

Numerous clinical trials have studied Microwave Thermal Therapy in combination with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. These studies have focused on the treatment of many types of cancer, including sarcoma, melanoma, and cancers of the head and neck, brain, lung, esophagus, breast, bladder, rectum, liver, appendix, cervix, and peritoneal lining (mesothelioma). Many of these studies have shown a significant reduction in tumor size when Microwave Thermal Therapy is combined with other treatments.

Is it Safe?

The Microwave Thermal Therapy process does not harm, is non-toxic and is non-invasive. Most normal tissues are not damaged during Microwave Thermal Therapy if the temperature remains under 111°F. However, due to regional differences in tissue characteristics, higher temperatures may occur in various spots. This can result in burns (9.9%), pain (8.4%), ulceration (3.6%) and infection (1.8%). Perfusion techniques can cause tissue swelling, blood clots, bleeding, and other damage to the normal tissues in the perfused area; however, most of these side effects are temporary. (National Institute of Health)

It may be defined as minimally invasive when used with radiotherapy. In this case, Microwave Thermal Therapy RF antennas are placed in existing catheters that were placed in the body by the Radiation therapy process.

Microwave Thermal Therapy is almost always used with other forms of cancer therapy, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy (1, 3). Microwave Thermal Therapy may make some cancer cells more sensitive to radiation or harm other cancer cells that radiation cannot damage. When Microwave Thermal Therapy and radiation therapy are combined, they are often given within an hour of each other. Microwave Thermal Therapy can also enhance the effects of certain anticancer drugs.

Ultrasound 3D USB Probes Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get orbSee images into my Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Picture Archiving Storage System (PACS)?

Most EMR’s and PACS have an “Import File” function you can use to import JPGs into the system. Patient information and results of calculations are displayed on a JPG image. You can also copy patient information and calculation information from the text files within the patient folder, and paste them into the EMR. An HL7 bridge to Centricity EMR is available from a 3rd party.

Can I run orbSee USB software on a Mac?

You may run orbSee USB software on a Mac. Please verify proper operation of orbSee prior to purchase as we do not test and can not support. Here are the requirements: You need to install software to create a dual boot, such as: Fusion or VMWare, plus you will need a copy of Windows.

Where can I find out about ultrasound training and other clinical updates?

Ultrasound training is available at most Medical Schools and from a number of private groups. See our "Resources" page for a listing of training organizations. Another good source for upcoming courses is:

Where can I get ultrasound gel?

You can Google "ultrasound gel" for other sources.

Do you support M-Mode or fetal heart rate monitoring?

No, orbSee only supports real-time B-scan imaging.

Do you have Doppler or colour flow?

No, orbSee is B-scan gray scale imaging only.

Do you comply with HIPPA guidelines?

orbSee software does not include electronic signature control, and is not meant to substitute for an electronic medical record. Ultrasound images, patient data files, and reports may include identifying patient information. HIPAA regulations and other patient privacy and regulatory standards require that users take reasonable care to protect this information. It is important that you comply with your own hospital or clinic HIPAA guidelines regarding privacy and safeguarding of patient information.

How do I return a probe for service?

You must first call or email orb to get an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization number)

Are probes waterproof? Can they be submerged or soaked?

Probes may be soaked up to the probe connector. Best not to soak more than one hour.

Where can I get biopsy guides and probe covers?

Biopsy Guides and probe covers for endocavity probes are available from Civco

Is a cart available?

We have a mobile cart that is designed for use with Windows tablets. Additional mounting options are available for notebooks.

How do I make measurements?

Go to the Measure tab. Establish first measurement point with a left click on the computer, and drag the cursor. Release to place the second measurement point. Note that measurements can also be performed on saved images. For annotations, position cursor, left click, and type the word. Then hit the ENTER key on the computer keyboard to set – hit clear to cancel.

What does the button on the probe do?

The button performs two functions. First, it starts and stops a scan. Second, it is the orientation button corresponding to the asterisk on the imaging window. The orientation button is typically pointed either to the patient’s head or the patient’s right side.

What does the “Missing Folder Error Message” mean?

If you get error messages about missing folders, you are probably encountering a VISTA security problem. For VISTA systems, you must install orbSee Setup software as “administrator.” To do so, right click on installation program, and choose: “run as administrator.” You need only do on first installation.

How do I get clinician name and facility name into the system?

Go to the Settings tab. You may enter as many facility/practice names and physician names as you like. Facilty and clinician are selected in the Patient tab from the pull-down pick list.

Which probe should I use for my application?

Abdominal Imaging: 99-5901
OB: 99-5901
Bladder Scanning: 99-5901
FAST exam: 99-5901
AAA screening: 99-5901
Vascular Access: 99-5910
Transrectal Prostate imaging: 99-5511
Transvaginal Imaging: 99-5909

How do I viewed saved images?

Static (still) images are stored as both .jpg and .bs (high res) files – the latter can only be viewed via the orbSee software via the “Load” feature. Jpg files (found within Patient Folders) can be viewed with any image editing software by clicking on the file. Cine loops may only be viewed via the orbSee software using the “Load” button in the Cine section.

How do I print a hardcopy of images?

Although many users choose to store images digitally rather than print them out, you can print directly from the orbSee application by selecting File (upper left corner of the orbSee application), then Print, using a standard printer connected to your computer. You can also right click on the .jpg images within a orbSee Data, Patient Folder, and select the print function. Because there is so much black space, it is suggested that you print a smaller image rather than full page in order to conserve ink. You may also connect a USB thermal printer to your computer.

Can I evaluate a probe?

Yes! Contact our inside sales team to learn all of the details and options. orb pays for shipment to you - you pay for return shipment at the end of the evaluation.

How do I tell which version of software I am running and how do I install a new version of software?

Go to the “Help” menu on the top left corner of the orbSee application and pull down, select “About orbSee”. You will see version number listed. The current version is 2.0.03 You do not need to remove the old version of software, but make sure the old version is closed when installing the new version. Contact orb for a link to download the latest version.

How do I find my probe's serial number?

The probe's serial number is found on the USB connector that plugs into the computer. If you can not find it there, you can connect the probe and the software will display the serial number under the Help / About pull down in the upper left hand corner of the application.

What do I do if the image is not displaying properly on my screen?

Make sure probe plugged in first, before launching software.
Make sure the cable is firmly seated in the back of probe.
Display resolution and color depth are set within the Display control within Windows Control Panel. The software will not load or display correctly unless these settings are correct. If in doubt, check these settings before loading software. Screen resolution needs to be set at 32 bit color and set at 96 DPI = normal screen. If you’re seeing a bunch of squiggly lines instead of image, Right click on the desktop, select Properties, go to Settings, click Advanced, and select "Normal size" (96 DPI – dots per inch).

I get an error message "failed to load user pref file" - what did I do wrong?

orbSee is a single user application and has to be installed under an Admin mode login. Likely what happened is you installed orbSee under a user account login. It is easy to correct - log in as an admin and temporarily change the user account to an admin account and install orbSee under the former user account login. Verify proper orbSee operation under the former user account login and then change the privileges back to user.

What are the minimum system requirements to run orbSee USB probes?

Computer Operating System – Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
Minimum processor – 2.5 GHz
Minimum RAM – 4 GB
USB 2.0 port
Minimum Display – 1366 x 768 resolution with 32 bit color