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A Dog With Brain Tumors In North America Has Been Replaced With A Three-dimensional Printed Titanium Skull
Mar 04, 2019

Source: 2018-09-27 08:31:25 Click: 57

On September 25, 2018, Antarctic bears learned from foreign media that Patches, a 9-year-old sausage dog in Pennsylvania, had brain tumors on its head. Researchers at the University of Ontario used 3D printing technology to replace the dog's cancerous skull. Replacing 3D printed titanium skulls for dogs is considered a major advance in veterinary medicine.

Titanium Skull Cap Printed in 3D for Cancer Dachshunds

Danielle Dymeck, Patches'owner, said: "We call her our little Unicorn because she has this tumor on her head, but it kills her. What researchers have done for my girl is amazing. "

According to Dymeck, a small tumour on Patches'head began to grow larger and larger a few years ago. Dymeck's veterinarian advised her to go to Cornell University, where she asked Dr. Michelle Oblak, a veterinary surgeon oncologist, for advice on patch therapy.

Previous surgeries in dogs like Patches required removal of tumors and part of the skull and replacement with titanium mesh. Dr. Oblak said it was an imprecise, expensive and lengthy operation.

A new treatment, using a 3D printer to customize a dog's titanium skull cap, works much better, she said.

Surgery requires about 70% of the skull to be removed and replaced. Dr. Oblak said British veterinarians had performed similar operations, but on a much smaller scale.

"They think she can recover from it," Ms. Dymeck said. "Participating in cancer research is a big thing for me - if they can learn something from animals to help humans, it's very important."

This new method first scans Patches'tumors and skulls with CT. Using several different software programs, Dr. Oblak and her team digitally removed tumors and diseased parts of the dog's skull. They then plotted the appropriate location of the replacement for 3D printing and completed the location of the screw hole to fix it in place.

The digital plans were then sent to ADEISS, a medical-grade 3D printing company based in London, Ontario, which made a custom titanium skull cap for Patches.

Oblak, together with several veterinarians, software engineers and industrial engineers, has created a "cutting guide" to follow during surgery.

On March 23, a cancerous dachshund underwent a four-hour operation to obtain a three-dimensional printed titanium skull cap. Dr. Oblak said that within 30 minutes of waking up, the dog was walking outside to rest.

Thanks to 3D printing technology, Patches is now cancer-free.

"Her head looks great, except for her curved ears," Dymeck said.

Dr. Oblak said she believed the procedure was the first in North America and a substantial leap forward in other known cases.

"We hope that this can be widely used in a wider range," Dr. O'Brack said.

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