Transforming the treatment of bone cancer

19 Dec 2019

A major new Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD) research project – the Just in Time Project - is set to transform the way physicians surgically treat tumours and bone cancer.

Using 3D printing, robotic surgery and improved process flows, the aim is to create tailored implants for patients with bone cancer in a shorter amount of time, which would dramatically improve healthcare outcomes.

The five-year research project is a collaboration between the Australian Government, RMIT University, the University of Technology Sydney, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne and global medical technology firm Stryker.

As well as cutting down the current time of four to six weeks to produce a solid implant, the custom-made, lattice-structured implant is intended to improve long-term integration with the bone. The robotic removal of the tumour will allow for more exact margins to be achieved, thus reducing the re-occurrence rate of the tumour.

The lead researchers, RMIT’s Professor Milan Brandt and St Vincent’s Professor Peter Choong, and the project team will use the remaining 2.5 years of the project.

Professor Peter Choong explains that Just-In-Time 3D implants will transform the delivery of care for people with bone cancer.

“This process will expand the surgical options available to patients and surgeons and increase the potential for limb-saving surgery.”

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This video shows the initial JIT vision. Please note that current technology limitations do not allow for the printing of titanium implants.