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New Technologies in Pancreatic Cancer: Using 3D Printing to Better Improve

Tue 02/23/2016

New Technologies in Pancreatic Cancer: Using 3D Printing to Better Improve Diagnosis
Published in Florida MD:  Feb 8 2016

Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease that according to the National Cancer Institute affects 46,000 people every year in the United States and continues to be the forth-leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women despite recent developments in treatment. Due in part to a lack of highly accurate diagnostic tools, the vast majority of patients present at an advanced stage making surgical resection not possible at the time of initial diagnosis. Although strides have been made in the recent past in the treatment of the disease, only patients who undergo complete removal of the tumor can potentially be cured and achieve relative prolonged survivals.

Cancer 3One of the obstacles physicians often face when diagnosing pancreatic cancer is determining the relationship of the tumor to vital structures that need to be preserved at the time of surgery such as the mesenteric vessels. Surgeons commonly relay on multiple different radiologic tests such as computer tomography and endoscopic ultrasound to allow planning of the surgical intervention in advance. Although these high-quality tests can predict the need to vascular reconstruction in a significant number of patients, unexpected findings at the time of surgery sometimes occur preventing the pancreatic surgeon from eradicating the cancer.

In order to improve the accuracy of pancreatic cancer diagnosis, investigators at the Institute for Surgical Advancement at Florida Hospital have recently applied 3D technology to patients with this deadly condition.  Sebastian de la Fuente, MD (a surgical oncologist at Florida Hospital Orlando) and Gareth Hearn (a mechanical engineer of the medical device innovation lab) have started utilizing 3D technology in the diagnosis algorithm if these patients. Continue Reading....