Hyperthermia is a cancer treatment modality in which body tissue is exposed to elevated temperatures to destroy cancerous cells. Hyperthermia treatment planning refers to the use of computational models to optimize the heating protocol with the goal of isolating thermal damage to predetermined treatment areas. This paper presents an algorithm to optimize a hyperthermia treatment protocol using the conjugate gradient method with the adjoint problem. The output of the minimization algorithm is a heating protocol that will cause a desired amount of thermal damage. The transient temperature distribution in a cylindrical region is simulated using the bioheat transfer equation. Temperature and time are integrated to calculate the extent of thermal damage in the region via a first-order rate process based on the Arrhenius equation. Several validation experiments are carried out by applying the results of the minimization algorithm to an albumen tissue phantom. Comparisons of metrics describing the damage region (the height and radius of the volume of thermally ablated phantom) show good agreement between the desired extent of damage and the measured extent of damage. The sensitivity of the bioheat transfer model and the Arrhenius damage model to their constituent parameters is calculated to create a tolerable range of error between the desired and measured extent of damage. The measured height and radius of the ablated region fit well within the tolerable range of error found in the sensitivity analysis.