Integrated Rectal Displacement Balloon that Protects Healthy Tissue During Brachytherapy Radiation Treatments for Cervical Cancer

Technology #14126

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Anamaria Reyna Yeung
Richard David Helmig
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Anita Rao
Assistant Director 352-392-8929

Adjustable Design is More Comfortable than Available Products and Just as Effective

This integrated rectal displacement balloon, which prevents damage to healthy tissue during high-dose-rate brachytherapy treatments for cervical cancer, is more comfortable for patients than available products. Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation treatment, is the standard treatment for early-stage cervical cancer. Though high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy targets tumors more precisely than external radiotherapy treatments, providers must still take steps to prevent radiation exposure to nearby organs. A rectal displacement shield, for example, can be inserted into the patient’s vagina to limit radiation damage to the rectum. The standard spatula-like shield is inserted alongside the radiation source, a bulky combination that often causes discomfort. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed an alternative rectal displacement device, an adjustable balloon that is fully integrated with the radiation source and can be modified to suit each individual patient. This rectal displacement balloon enhances comfort during HDR brachytherapy treatment without sacrificing protection of the rectum from radiation exposure.

Application

An integrated rectal displacement balloon for use in tandem and ring high-dose-rate radiation brachytherapy

Advantages

  • Enables easy adjustments to balloon size, enhancing patient comfort during treatment
  • Combines radiation and displacement sources into a single apparatus, improving space utilization
  • Features an integrated design that does not sacrifice protection of the rectum, maximizing overall product efficiency

Technology

High-dose-rate brachytherapy is the most effective way to treat locally confined cancerous tumors since it offers greater beam precision than external beam radiation treatments. During HDR brachytherapy procedures, radiation is delivered to targeted tumors through a tandem and ring apparatus while a displacement device is used to prevent radiation exposure to nearby organs. University of Florida researchers have developed a more comfortable rectal displacement shield. Their integrated rectal displacement balloon is deflated for insertion into the vagina and re-inflated once the ring is in position. The balloon displaces radiation as effectively as available spatula-like devices.