Cancer Patient Receives 3D Printed Titanium Vertebrae in History-Making Procedure

Share this Article

7184628-3x2-340x227Receiving a diagnosis of cancer – any kind of cancer – is hard enough, but imagine being told that your particular type of cancer is going to cause you to die an extremely painful, drawn-out death. That’s what Drage Josevski was facing when he received a diagnosis of chordoma, a rare type of cancer that affects the spine. It’s bad enough in any part of the spine, but Josevski’s tumor was located in his top two vertebrae. Without treatment, he would gradually lose the function of his arms and legs, and then his ability to breathe and eat, according to Dr. Ralph Mobbs of the Sydney Spine Clinic in New South Wales, Australia.

To prevent that fate, Dr. Mobbs turned to medical device company Anatomics, which made history last year by 3D printing a new sternum and ribs for a cancer patient, the first time such a procedure had ever been done. For Josevski, the company created a 3D printed titanium implant that would replace the cancerous vertebrae, but the procedure was going to be very risky.

implant

“It involves exposure at the top of the neck where the neck and the head meet,” said Dr. Mobbs. “And it’s essentially disattaching the patient’s head from his neck and taking the tumor out and reattaching his head back onto his neck.”

implant1It was the first time that anyone in the world had attempted this type of procedure, and there was some uncertainty as to whether Josevski would even survive the surgery, which took place in December. It took 15 hours for the surgical team to remove the tumor and insert the implant in its place. Thanks to careful pre-planning, though, once the tumor was removed the implant was able to be slotted in easily, fitting “like a glove.”

“I must say that it was a delight to put in, because after spending 15 hours taking out a very complicated tumor, it was beautiful just to slot in the implant and to have it fit so nicely and to be able to reconstruct the space left by the tumor,” said Dr. Mobbs. “The surgery went really, really well.”

The surgery wasn’t without complications; Josevski is still having some trouble eating and speaking two months later. He is able to move his head and neck easily, though, and while it will likely take several months for him to recover full eating and speaking capabilities, he is improving every day. He will be able to attend his daughter Tanya’s wedding, and, he hopes, eventually meet his future grandchildren. After being given such a grim prognosis only a few short months ago, a few complications must seem like a small price to pay for the years of life he now has to look forward to.

Drage Josevski with daughter Tanya [Image: ABC Australia]

Drage Josevski with daughter Tanya [Image: ABC Australia]

The lifesaving procedures that doctors have been able to accomplish with 3D printing are astonishing, and it’s beginning to seem as though no surgery is impossible anymore, no matter how complicated. If a complex and dangerous cancer like Josevski’s was able to be removed so thoroughly, other patients should have a lot of reason to hope.

“3D printing of body parts is the next phase of individualised health care,” said Dr. Mobbs. “To restore bones, joints, organs with this type of technology really is super exciting. And, you know, Australia is supposed to be the smart country. Well, here is our opportunity to really take it out there and to keep pushing the boundaries on the whole 3D-printed body part business.”

Discuss this amazing procedure in the 3D Printed Titanium Vertebral Implant forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: ABC Australia]
Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Recent News

Industrial Design and Development Company Chooses EnvisionTEC for the Production of Accurate Prototypes

Additive Manufacturing Strategies: Call for Metal, Dental, and Medical 3D Printing Speakers



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2020: Sign Up for Our 3D Printing Startup Competition

Coming up in February 2020, the annual Additive Manufacturing Strategies summit, co-hosted by 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Markets Publishing, will be held in Boston for the third year running. This year, the event, titled...

Interview with Alexandre Donnadieu-Deray of 3YOURMIND

Alexandre Donnadieu-Deray is the Managing Director of the company 3YOURMIND. 3YOURMIND provides software to manage and optimize your end-to-end Additive Manufacturing workflows. There organization gives an interesting value proposition to their end users. They sit in between technical expertise as well as customer service.

Inside 3D Printing Seoul 2019 Day One

Inside 3D Printing Seoul is one of the world’s largest 3D printing shows. Set in the giant maelstrom that is Seoul, the show brings together people from all over the...

Presentations on 3D Printing Trends and Projects at RAPID 2019

I didn’t just visit companies at their booths during the recent RAPID + TCT – I made time in my schedule to attend a few interesting sessions as well, including...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!