Most patients rely on their doctors to decipher the black, white and gray images from the CT scan to get their kidney information. But what if the patient can have a 3D model of their kidneys (made from CT images)? Then, the information they get will be more comprehensive and clear.
So far, 6 patients who have been treated in the Department of Urology at Tulane University have seen a 3D model of their kidney cancer before surgery. Ultraviolet lasers use a resin material (similar to plastic) to print a kidney model. Normal kidney tissue is printed with clear transparent resin and the tumor is printed with red resin.
Dr. Jonathan Silberstein, the leader of the urinary tumor, said: "We can show the location of the tumor, how deep the tumor extends into the kidney tissue, and how we plan to surgically remove the tumor fot patients.
Until the early 1990s, the standard treatment for kidney cancer patients was to remove the entire kidney. But today, many patients are able to undergo kidney preservation surgery, which removes tumor tissue, but the healthy part of the kidney is preserved.
Such organ retention surgery can avoid the potential need for future dialysis. The researchers say the technology is also useful for other solid organ cancers such as liver cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer.
Source(s): Chinese Society of Nephrology