IMPROVING RADIATION THERAPY ACCURACY
The continuing evolution of 3D printing technologies have provided the ability to manufacture re-producible and sophisticated 3D printed biomedical phantom models that accurately recreate areas of human anatomy and mimic human tissue. These models are used by clinicians to enhance the surgical planning process such as allowing for more accurate dosimetry measurements that minimises the impact of often invasive surgical procedures on the patients longer term rehabilitation.
3DLP were asked by an leading NHS Trust Foundation to develop and manufacture a patient specific 3D printed liver for a patient with liver cancer who was about to undergo radiation treatment.There are multiple approaches available for treating patients with liver tumours, including ablation, embolization, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is one of the most effective methods but comes with its own risks and complexities. Accurate dosage measurements for radiation therapy is critical in providing effective treatment. The normal procedure for pre-assessment and planning prior to the interventional procedure relies on the clinicians looking a variety of patient image data scans. The subsequent procedure uses X-rays to provide the targeted radiation dose for the area of interest. There are currently few options for planning other than CT/MRI scans shown on a 2D screen. The 3D printed phantoms manufactured allowed the surgeons to better understand the patients anatomy and by using the measured dosage and known cavity volume for the patient, the surrounding exposure on the liver could be estimated.