Cancer is a deadly disease characterized by out-of-control-cell-growth in a human body. We might have known our relatives, family, friends who were victims of this indignant disease and are no more with us. Healing cancer would be an ultimate target for every medical researcher as millions of people are victims of this cruel disease every year. They try to come up with many formulations every day which might pave the way for the pain-free treatments to all cancer patients. They dream of treating cancer just like treating an ear infection with a pill – The miracle pill!
In reality, is it likely to happen? It’s probably not that easy – cancer is a complicated beast, as complicated as galaxies of the universe, having different problems in each type of cancer. That one pill might never be the possibility of a cure for the disease like cancer. However, with the magnification of our recent technologies and developments, thankfully we can cure cancer. 3D printing is one such technology we can use to cure cancer.
Among all the cancers identified, few have dire prognosis and esophageal cancer is one of those. According to the statistics available, It’s the eighth most common type of cancer in the world but it’s often detected late and it’s very difficult to operate on; in fact, 50 to 60 percent of patients with the disease are ineligible for surgery. Those patients are often treated with the surgical implantation of a stent, which is made from a metal mesh and can cause numerous complications such as bleeding, perforation or tumor ingrowth. This treatment is not an exact cure as it tends to open the esophagus and has many complications.
So, here we have the biodegradable 3D printed polymer stent,which eliminates further complications and also serves as drug delivery system.The best part of this 3D printed stent is that it will automatically dissolve itself in the esophagus and doesn’t need any further surgery. The stent which is tissue engineered, releases paclitaxel, a commonly used anti-cancer drug that will locally attack the tumor. This stent created by 3D printing is rigid in shape and also has flexibility in expanding and contracting with esophagus.
The new enhancements in the treatment of cancer can take over a new leaf with the integration of 3D printing and save the cancer victims.