Lab4Living wins more NIHR i4i funding for the Support4All project
Heidi Probst and Heath Reed have won another National Institute for Health Research Invention for Innovation (NIHR i4i) project for Lab4Living. With a development fund of £576,000, 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: Support4All.
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 four 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.