Mount Nittany Medical Center-New 3D Printer Helps Cancer Patients

Local News

New technology at a Centre county hospital is improving radiation treatment for cancer patients.

This 3D printer may look small but it’s making a huge impact in radiation oncology treatment for cancer patients. 

Mount Nittany Medical Center’s Dr. Veeral Patel say hospitals with radiation treatment departments have had to use more simple, less effective devices for cancer radiation treatment…That is until the 3D printer.

“We have more sophisticated boluses like this, that can actually shape to a patient’s face, specifically,” Dr. Patel said.  “So, it really helps us to tread adequately and properly our patients more consistently.”
A bolus is the rubber substance used in the mold.
Thanks to a cancer program fund grant Mount Nittany Medical Center is the only hospital in Central PA with this technology.

It can be used for patients with any cancer.  The 3D printer uses a step by step process that could be finished in one night.
“The design comes from a cat scan of the patient, and then we design this material that’s going to be placed on the patient,” Neil Holter, Medical Physicist with Mount Nittany Medical Center said.  “That design then gets sent to the printer, which lays it down out of a plastic material, and lays it down layer at a time to build up the final shape.”
The mold helps the radiation dosage get into the skin.  In the past the hospital would have had to order these molds.

Having the machine in house allows Mount Nittany to get molds cheaper and quicker to a patient.
“Now we have a 3D printer in our department,” Dr. Patel said.  “So, we can literally provide this for every patient that needs it, within 24 hours.”
Dr. Patel expects 3D printing to spread all radiation oncology departments in the country in the coming years.

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