The University of Wollongong's Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld has developed a device that will make radiotherapy a safer cancer treatment.
The MOSkin device detects how much radiation a patient is exposed to during the treatment in real time, reducing the risks of radiation overdoses and limiting the side effects that come with them. It measures the radiation level in the skin and is non invasive, but can be adapted to measure dose levels when radiotherapy is being used to treat cancers such as prostate.
Prof Rozenfeld, who is also the director of the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics at the university, said that though current radiotherapy was quite accurate, any technology that could minimise errors was important.
"When you are doing such high-tech things, error is possible. We need to be sure that if that happens we can react immediately and stop the radiation," he said.
"It's extremely important to have confidence in radiotherapy because 60 per cent of cancer patients have it. Patients would like to be sure that dose delivery goes exactly like planned."
He said monitoring radiation levels in children receiving radiotherapy was critical because overdoses could increase the risk of secondary cancers.
"Children live longer, so the probability of secondary cancer is higher in that generation," Prof Rozenfeld said.
MOSkin has already been developed into different prototypes for a range of radiotherapy treatments and has been trialled in 20 cancer centres, hospitals and research institutes in Australia and around the world.
It recently won a grant that will help commercialise the technology.
Prof Rozenfeld and his team have been working on the MOSkin for over a decade.
"I'm the inventor and main driver, but it's not just my achievement, but the achievement of my team," he said.