Thomas Rockwell Mackie
A Case for Upright Radiotherapy
Treating patients in the upright position is not new as it has been used for photon, proton, and carbon ion radiotherapy for many years. Upright proton and carbon radiotherapy has many cost advantages by eliminating the need for an expensive gantry but requiring only a multi-position sophisticated chair-based patient support system. There are medical and practical advantages to treatment in the upright position for conventional external beam photon radiotherapy. It has been shown that lung radiotherapy would be advantageous for three reasons: 1) the lung is more inflated in the upright position reducing lung density and lowering normal tissue integral dose, 2) the lung moves less in the upright position, and 3) patients who cannot control coughing are more comfortable and less likely to choke. It has been shown that H&N patients can be setup accurately in the upright position and are more comfortable if they have swallowing or gastric reflux difficulties. Treatment planning images can now be acquired with MRI or CT scanners that allow upright patient positioning. The seminar will also describe the world’s first dedicated upright photon beam radiotherapy system being developed by Sydney-based Nano-X.
Disclosures: I am a consultant for Nano-X. I am also co-founder of Asto CT, which has developed a multi-axis CT scanner for veterinary use.
“Rock” Mackie has a BSc in Physics (1980) from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD in Physics (1984) from the University of Alberta. In 1987 he left Canada and came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and became a full professor in 1998 in the Department of Medical Physics while practicing as a clinical medical physicist and conducting radiotherapy physics research in the Department of Human Oncology. He was at the UW for 25 years and supervised more than 40 PhD students and co-authored more than 180 peer-reviewed publications. He also had an appointment in Engineering Physics with the UW College of Engineering and was a faculty affiliate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the same college. He has been a UW Professor Emeritus since 2012 and an Emeritus Investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research since 2015. Rock Mackie has co-founded several not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. He is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board for the Center for the Assessment of Radiological Sciences (CARS), a not-for-profit organization supporting quality in radiation oncology and radiology. He is a co-founder and now the President of the Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs (ACE), an independent association of faculty, staff and trainees promoting academic entrepreneurship at the UW-Madison. In 1992 he co-founded Geometrics Corporation to develop the Pinnacle radiotherapy treatment planning system, which originated from his clinical and research work. Now owned by Philips Medical Corporation, it was once the largest selling radiation therapy treatment planning system in the world. In 1997, Rock co-founded TomoTherapy in 1997, an image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy company and was its Chairman of the Board from founding to IPO and on to sale to Accuray Corporation in 2011. He is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of several companies including HealthMyne, Asto CT and OnLume. He also serves on boards or advises several other companies.