Thermal ablation of the goat mammary gland as a model for post-lumpectomy treatment of breast cancer: Preliminary observations

R. Alvarado, B. Mahon, C. Valadez, M. Caufield, S. Wadhwani, C. Hambleton, K. P. Siziopikou, A. T. Dickler, J. Gatta, K. Dowlatshahi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background. Partial breast irradiation post-lumpectomy, with a balloon bearing a radioactive source in its center, is practiced as an alternative to whole breast irradiation in the treatment of breast cancer. The goal is to ablate residual malignant cells within 1 cm radius of the resected lumpectomy margin. We hypothesize that this goal may be achieved with a fluid-filled heated balloon. Methods. Nubian-cross goats were treated under general anesthesia. The two mammary glands were sequentially bisected and a non-inflated balloon with a heating element was placed in the center of the gland which was re-sutured. Two series of experiments were conducted. In the first 22 goats (44 glands), the balloon was inflated with 5% dextrose to a pressure of 150 mmHg and heated at 87°C over selected time intervals of 1-24 minutes. In the second series (16 glands), the re-programmed device operated at 50-80 mmHg over selected time intervals of 5-20 minutes. The depth of necrosis was histologically determined after sacrificing the goats and excising the glands. Results. In the first series, glandular necrosis was noted to extend to a depth of 3.2-9.6 mm for the above heating cycles. Corresponding figures for the second series ranged from 4.7-8.6 mm for treatment times of one minute 'warm up' to 20 minutes of heating at 90°C. The animals exhibited no systemic side effects post-treatment. Conclusion. An experimental model describing a thermal technique causing necrosis of the goat mammary gland is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Breast cancer
  • Mammary gland
  • Radiation therapy
  • Thermal ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal ablation of the goat mammary gland as a model for post-lumpectomy treatment of breast cancer: Preliminary observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this