Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Radiation Therapy
Radiation Therapy
Low Skin Dose Patient Positioning Device for Radiation Treatment of Prone Breast
WARF: P05448US

Inventors: 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.
In 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 Invention
UW-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
Key Benefits
  • 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 current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9846