Countries, governments, and leaders around the world do not always see eye to eye on everything, to say the least. When it comes to cancer though, nearly all of us have been affected and are hoping for a cure–no matter where we live. While most of us are relegated to donating and helping to raise funds through many different and often publicized events, some scientists, researchers, and surgeons are literally on the cutting edge of eliminating cancer—and often with 3D printing at the forefront of their innovative procedures.
China has made enormous strides with 3D printers. They have created new metal 3D printing technology. They have stunned the world with 3D printed houses. But as with so many other countries today, their most important work has been in the medical field, from saving the lives of pediatric heart patients to helping a patient walk again, and far more. Now, a hospital in China highlights 3D printing as one of the ways they are helping to fight cancer safely.
The St. Stamford Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou in Guangzhou City, China has been using 3D printed guides, or templates, to allow for more precision in their surgeries. Dr. Haishan Bai, chief physician and a Nano-knife surgeon, credits 3D printing with allowing for extra safety measures in procedures. By employing the Nano-knife technique, surgeons can treat tumors in major organs, using an electrical current to eliminate cancerous tissue.
Not only can surgeons use models (created from CT scans and MRIs) as they are training for a surgery (which may mean weeks of preparation), they can also use them to educate the patients and their concerned families, as well as medical students who may specialize in such surgeries later. The 3D printed models can then be used as guides in the operating room. Although using 3D printed models and surgical guides may be more common today, not long ago at all these resources were not available.
St. Stamford Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou is also using other techniques in fighting cancer, such as:
- Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE) – also known as arterial infusion chemotherapy, this technique uses specialized catheters to knock out cancerous cells, with 95 percent of the chemotherapy going straight into the tumors.
- Cryotherapy – uses needles to deaden malignant tumors by using freezing temperatures.
- Immunotherapy – a technique meant to boost the immune system as blood is taken and then fortified with immune cells.
Dr. Xiachi Peng, chief oncologist at St. Stamford, states that several of their patients are now cancer free and living normal lives, including a Vietnamese patient with stage 4 cancer who has now been healthy for seven years.
A patient from Lipa, Batangas who was recently treated for stage 4 cancer has also seen amazing results after a year and a half.
“My left lung is already clear of cancerous tumor but my right still has a small lesion,” she said.
Another patient from San Pablo City, Laguna who had a similar diagnosis is also responding very well to treatment.
“Eighty percent of the cancer cells are gone. But the doctors are still determining the primary source,” said her nephew, who is looking after her since her hospitalization in Guangzhou.
Dr. Haishan Bai expects that the therapies being used by St. Stamford will serve as ‘the future of cancer treatment,’ allowing for patients to get well with minimally invasive therapy and targeted surgeries. Discuss in the Chinese Hospital forum at 3DPB.com.SunStar CEBU / Images: Superbalita File Photo / Roger E. Vallena]