3D Printing: A New Dimension in Cancer Treatment
A step forward in personalized medicine.
- Radiology images are used to create patient-specific life size 3D printed models.
- A 3D printer creates a physical model showing the location of tumors along with bone, internal organs, nerves and blood vessels.
- Medical professionals use the model to plan surgery, map out challenges and discuss a range of treatments.
Patient care benefits
- Smaller incisions: Less need for exploratory surgery.
- Faster surgeries: Surgeons work out each step in advance.
- Faster recoveries: Due to less invasive and extensive surgery.
- Precise reconstruction: 3D printers can produce patient-specific cutting guides for use in bone and tissue reconstruction. In some cases custom titanium implants are 3D printed.
- Helps patients understand their options – showing the cancer and how it can be addressed helps patients make better informed decisions about treatment.
- Allows surgeons to train future doctors on models.
- More accurate modeling in research labs.
- 3D printed tumors used to test treatments.
- A support system can be 3D printed to allow the patient's stem cells to attach and grow new bone or cartilage.
Sources: MayoClinic.org; ScientificAmerican.com; Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.gov