When Daria, a five-year-old German girl who loves to dance, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in her right leg, the fight started to save her limb. But because this rare malignant bone tumor was so large, extending almost to the distal femur, removing it while retaining enough bone to allow her to walk normally again required complex, precision surgery. Thankfully, her surgeons had some trusted high-tech helpers to call upon.
New, 3D-printed hip implants have made five bone cancer patients, two clinical teams and Materialise, very happy. Together with the orthopaedic departments of the University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB), Switzerland and the Righospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, Materialise participated in a study to reconstruct periacetabular defects caused by tumors. Dr. Krieg and his colleagues shared their findings in the medical magazine, Leading Opinions.
A five-year-old boy named Jojo from a village near Munich was diagnosed with a rare malignant tumor called Ewing`s Sarcoma. Usually found in the diaphysis (middle part) of long bones Jojo`s tumor was located in the distal part of his left femur and very close to the growth plate. Since tumor-endoprostheses are not available for such young children due to their small anatomical dimensions, an amputation or rotation plasty has to be performed in these cases.
At the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Centre of Utrecht, a four-year old patient with a large heart tumor came to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Blank for help. Due to the tumor, the boy suffered from heart rhythm problems, and it was quickly apparent to Dr. Blank that the only way to relieve these problems was to remove the tumor. The problem was its location. Situated near the mitral valve and the coronary arteries, the tumor would be extremely challenging to remove without damaging those delicate areas. Dr. Blank reached out to Prof. Hraska, a cardiac surgeon from the Sankt-Augustin hospital in Germany with substantial experience in removing similar tumors.
Dr. Peter Metherall is a registered Clinical Scientist and Chartered Engineer at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK. As the Scientific Lead of the Sheffield 3D Imaging Lab, he is improving the clinical utility of Advanced Visualization and Quantitative Imaging for routine clinical imaging investigations and research applications. Materialise invited him to present at the Mimics Innovation Conference, and you can take a sneak peek of his work here.
Making the world a better and healthier place was certainly the goal Materialise had in mind when they decided to donate a grant to the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM) at Central University of Technology, Free State in South Africa. The grant allowed the CRPM to help some patients with life-changing interventions, and to introduce students to the benefits of using 3D printing in the medical field. One of the patients helped by the CRPM was a young woman of 32. She suffered from an ossifying fibroma tumor in her lower jaw. The surgical team decided it was necessary to immediately resect the tumor and place a custom-made laser-sintered titanium implant in the patient’s mouth.
15-year-old Parker Turchan was faced with an unexpected and life-threatening tumor, located in his nose and sinuses, and which extended all the way through his skull to his brain. Referred to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, doctors faced the limitations of conventional endoscopy as the sinus tumor extended so deep into the bone they were unable to visualize it completely.
Michael Slag was suffering from a growing Pancoast tumor, a rare type of lung cancer. As it intertwined with several critical nerves and blood vessels, surgical tumor resection was complicated as the functioning of his arm could be damaged. To reduce this risk and keep the intervention minimally-invasive, the surgical team at Mayo Clinic used Materialise Mimics software to convert the MRI and CT scans to a 3D-printable model of the tumor and the surrounding tissue and ribs. On the model they could observe exactly how the tumor was wrapped around several of Michael’s critical nerves and blood vessels.
A 47-year-old woman in West Palm Beach, Florida, needed to undergo a nephrectomy to remove a renal mass. The urologist working on her case requested a 3D-printed model of the patient’s kidney to better understand the mass anatomy with respect to the renal hilum.