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A 3D printed tumour model leads cancer patient to recovery

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A 3D printed tumour designed and fabricated by 3D LifePrints, a UK-based medical technology company, has aided surgeons in the removal of a cancerous mass in six-year-old, Leah Bennett. 


Bennett was admitted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool after experiencing back pain. Various scans and tests lead to the diagnosis of a large unknown tumour at the bottom of her spine. Additive manufacturing was implemented to establish the optimal approach to extract 90% of the malignancy. Paul Fotheringham, Founder of 3D LifePrints stated:



“We are immensely proud to have been able to positively contribute to Leah’s battle with cancer. The biomedical engineers in our embedded 3D printing hub were able to prepare a detailed 3D model for this timely case over the weekend to help the surgical team at Alder Hey plan Leah’s ‘impossible’ surgery. This case perfectly illustrates the value of combining innovation and technology at the point of care.”


The 3D printed tumour model. Photo via 3D LifePrints.

The 3D printed tumour model. Photo via 3D LifePrints.


3D printing guides high-risk surgery


According to the medical team at Alder Hey, Bennett’s tumour was located close proximity to a number of important anatomical regions including the spinal cord and superior mesenteric artery. It was also observed to be enveloping large portions of vessels such as the aorta and inferior vena cava.


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