During the summer of 2021, Tel Aviv University researchers were able to create a glioblastoma tumor using a 3D printer. Glioblastoma tumors are an incredibly aggressive type of brain cancer, and the fact that researchers were able to make an active and viable version of the tumor means they have a unique chance to better research the cancer. Knowing how to make it means it is possible that they may be able to better treat it. It could also significantly benefit people with other forms of aggressive cancers as they may be able to better understand how the cancer works and what makes it so aggressive. This is an incredibly unique method of using 3D printing in the medical profession. Instead of making a prosthetic body part, the team has been trying to make a tumor they could better study without having to worry about the study harming someone who actually has the disease.
Earlier studies had shown the protein P-Selectin was responsible for the disease spreading. When they tried to replicate the process in a 2D petri dish, they were unsuccessful. This is a common problem when it comes to testing medicines during the trial periods. By creating a viable version of the tumor in 3D form, they hope to be able to more accurately predict how to treat it. The team used samples taken from patients with the specific type of cancer to create their printed version using special bio-ink. They even added a network of blood vessels like tubes to see how the drugs they tested actually passed through the tumor.
If you are interested in learning more about this potentially life changing breakthrough for people with brain cancer, you can check out the full article at Israeli Doctors Have Made a Potential Medical Breakthrough for Brain Cancer Thanks to a 3D-Printed Tumor. It even includes a short video if you prefer to get the information on the go.