WARF: P05448US

Low Skin Dose Patient Positioning Device for Radiation Treatment of Prone Breast


Thomas (Rock) Mackie, Stewart Becker

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a pad for breast cancer radiation therapy that allows radiation to be directed at the breast from many angles without increasing the dose to the skin.
OVERVIEWIn radiation therapy for breast cancer, the patient lies face down on a table with one breast compressed and the other pendant through a hole in the table where it is exposed to radiation. The skin is not burned because the maximum dose is not achieved until the radiation has traveled through a certain amount of tissue, called the build-up region. However, if the radiation is directed at an angle through the padded table, the padding acts as the build-up region, causing the skin to receive a greater dose.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a pad that allows radiation to be directed at the breast from many angles without increasing the dose of radiation to the skin. Instead of requiring a specialized table, a foam pad is laid on a standard table. The pad contains one hole for the targeted breast. The area surrounding the hole is made of a transparent bladder that contains either air or helium. Radiation can be directed through the bladder without accumulating build-up because the gasses provide less mass than padding or tissue.
  • Radiation therapy for breast cancer
  • Device rests on top of a standard table, eliminating the need for permanent installation of a bulky, specialized table.
  • Can decrease radiation dose to skin by factor of four
  • Helium can provide an even greater decrease in skin dosage because of its lesser mass.
  • Horizontally symmetric pad may be flipped to target opposite breast.
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
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