Heidi Probst and Heath Reed win another NIHR i4i project for Lab4Living. With a development fund of £576000, the Lab4Living team with clinical and industrial partners can now move forward with the development of a support device that will allow accurate positioning of the breast on a day-to-day basis, that is acceptable to patients and helps to maintain modesty during radiotherapy.
The support device will provide much needed dignity for women undergoing breast irradiation. Over 25,000 women a year in the UK undergo radiotherapy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Currently these women lie naked from the waist upwards while up to 4 radiographers manipulate their breast during treatment set-up. The support device will minimise undignified manipulation of the female breast allowing for accurate field placement while retaining patient modesty. In addition, by providing a reproducible position of the breast each day the requirement for daily on-treatment kilo-voltage imaging should be diminished. The primary aim of the support device is to stabilise the breast to enhance patient outcomes such as cosmetic appearance of the breast following a course of radiotherapy. With accurate placement each day radiographers can ensure a reproducible dose distribution based on the dose planned.