WARF: P06159US

Improved Portal Imaging During Radiation Therapy Using a Modulated Treatment Beam


Ian Nelson

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a device that promises to enhance the quality of portal X-ray images created from high-energy treatment beams without affecting patient treatment.
OVERVIEWBefore, after, and during radiation therapy, images of the patient are generated to ensure that radiation is delivered to the tumor site’s precise location. Instruments known as portal imaging devices make use of high-energy treatment radiation exiting the patient to produce X-ray images of the patient’s anatomy.

The problem with this approach is that Compton interaction of high-energy X-rays reduces image contrast and creates a fog over the image. Thus, high-energy X-rays give much poorer image quality than the low-energy X-rays typically used for diagnostic imaging.
THE INVENTIONHigh-energy treatment beams always include lower energy components, however, and a UW-Madison researcher has now devised a way to modulate the beam, without affecting patient treatment, so that only low-energy X-rays contribute to portal images. The device, which includes multiple filters and bandwidth-narrowed detection, can create quality images at a rate of approximately 10 per second. The filters modulate the low-energy X-rays already present in the treatment beam. The detector then screens out all un-modulated, high-energy beam components to create clear, quality images strictly from low-energy, non-interacting X-rays.
  • Radiation therapy
  • Promises to enhance the quality of portal X-ray images created from high-energy treatment beams without affecting patient treatment
  • Could be used to produce images immediately before and after treatment, as well as in real-time during treatment
  • Eliminates the need for a separate, low-energy X-ray source to produce quality images during radiation therapy, reducing the total radiation dose to patients
  • Not only removes high-energy X-rays from the image, but also those low-energy photons resulting from Compton scatter, which also reduce image quality
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.