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  8. Support positioning and organ stabilisation during breast cancer radiation therapy

Support positioning and organ stabilisation during breast cancer radiation therapy

Lead investigators Heidi Probst and Heath Reed
Funded by NIHR Invention for Innovation
Amount £576,425
Dates 1st March 2015 – 30th September 2017


The aim of this study is to develop 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.

Project team

Heidi Probst, Heath Reed, Christopher Bragg, Joe Langley, Karen Collins, Clare Robertson (Panache), Caroline Lee (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals)

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