3D medical printing has been used to revolutionize medicine. While it allows doctors to create models of organs as well as create artificial implants, some researchers are studying 3D printing and how it can be used to treat dreaded diseases like cancer.
A group of British researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research in London aims to use 3D bioprinting to treat cancer in a smart way. The head radioisotope physicist from the institute noted that 3D medical printing can be used to treat cancer by printing small implants that can accurately and deliver radiopharmaceuticals directly to the affected area. The implants will have a hollow space which can be filled with cancer treatment medicine. He said that the success in treating cancer is to personalize the delivery of radiation dose to the tumor.
The new research involves printing “phantoms” of tumors based on the CT scan taken from the patient. These phantoms are made from plastic moulds that can be filled with radiopharmaceuticals. Researchers have used a 3D medical printer from Stratasys which is also responsible for making medical innovations using 3D printing. Radiopharmaceuticals refer to drugs that contain radioactive materials that can be injected to the veins or taken orally to kill cancer cells. Moreover, the moulds have the capacity to release the medicine in a timely manner.
Flux and his colleagues are very positive about the outcome of their research and in the future, it can be used to treat different kinds of tumors including those that develop in the thyroid, bone and prostate.