A Queens teen’s hope of singing are back thanks to an innovative brain surgery. Galahad Abella, 17, became worried when he began to see double the day after Christmas. A CT scan revealed that he had a rare golf ball-sized tumor. The tumor, called Clival Chordoma, is mainly found in patients aged 20-40. The teen from Elmhurst, Queens dreams of becoming a professional opera singer and has already performed at Carnegie Hall. Thankfully, his medical team at Mt. Sinai Hospital was able to remove the tumor, after breaking it up into pieces, through his nose. During the surgery, Dr. Anthony Del Signore used a virtual reality like technique called “Surgical Theater” which captures a 3D image of the skull and tumor.
Image: Courtesy of Mount Sinai Health System
The sooner a disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be well managed or cured. The challenge to finding a disease early is that most of us don’t seek treatment until we have symptoms, which means the disease has already progressed.
But breakthroughs in nanobiotechnology techniques mean that in five years we will be able to examine and filter bodily fluids for tiny bioparticles that reveal signs of disease like cancer before we have any symptoms, letting us know immediately if we should consult a doctor.
By Gustavo Stolovitzky | theguardian
Photograph: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Researchers from South Korea have engineered a strain of bacteria that infiltrates tumors and fools the body’s immune system into attacking cancer cells. In experiments, the modified bacteria worked to reduce cancer in mice, raising hope for human trials.
In a study published today in Science Translational Medicine, a research team led by biologists Joon Haeng Rhee and Jung-Joon Min from Chonnam National University in South Korea describe a new immunotherapy in which a bioengineered strain of Salmonella is converted into a biological version of the fabled Trojan Horse. Once inside an unsuspecting tumor, the modified bacteria transmits a signal that triggers nearby immune cells into launching an attack on the malignant cells.
Image Credit: NIH
It’s scary enough making a doctor’s appointment to see if a strange mole could be cancerous. Imagine, then, that you were in that situation while also living far away from the nearest doctor, unable to take time off work and unsure you had the money to cover the cost of the visit. In a scenario like this, an option to receive a diagnosis through your smartphone could be lifesaving.
Universal access to health care was on the minds of computer scientists at Stanford when they set out to create an artificially intelligent diagnosis algorithm for skin cancer. They made a database of nearly 130,000 skin disease images and trained their algorithm to visually diagnose potential cancer. From the very first test, it performed with inspiring accuracy.
By Taylor Kubota
Image credit: Matt Young
The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has teamed with a nonprofit on a virtual reality initiative for patients in the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer program at USC (AYA@USC).
The initiative aims to provide a library of curated cinematic and interactive VR experiences using the most advanced media technology available to lessen a patient’s discomfort and anxiety with quality entertainment.
“The AYA@USC program aims to heal the whole person, not just the cancer,” said David Freyer, professor of clinical pediatrics and medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and co-director of AYA@USC. “The Virtual Reality Patient Initiative will provide an important emotional benefit to our patients that cannot be achieved through medicine alone.”
Photo/Courtesy of Springbok Cares
Bone cancer often means amputation for patients. If they are lucky, surgeons can remove the tumour and insert a prosthesis into the cavity that contained the bone. But the prosthesis may not fit properly and can loosen over time. This could lead to further pain and costs for patients who have already suffered both.
Fortunately, new research published in Physics Procedia opens the door to implants that are custom-made right in theatre. Prosthetic bones can be made using additive manufacture, more commonly known as 3D printing. This involves building the prosthesis one very thin layer at a time.
Milan Brandt and his colleagues at the Centre for Additive Manufacturing at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a technique for designing, 3D-printing and fitting personalised bone implants within a single operation. They rapidly image the cavity with a CT scan and 3D print a lattice that perfectly fits its shape. “Our novel tools require only a fraction of the time used by current prosthesis design methods,” Brandt says.
Currently, scientists and doctors 3D-print prosthetic bones using plastic and hydroxyapatite – a mineral found in natural bone. Brandt’s structures, however, are made from titanium – a light, durable and rust-free metal. The researchers fused layers of powdered titanium with a laser, a technique that operators can use to create any shape.
Brandt and his co-workers tested their procedure on a model bone made from plastic, which was as strong as real bone. They removed about 40 per cent of this fake bone to mimic a surgical operation and filled it with a 3D-printed lattice.
A five-year-old boy named Jojo from a village near Munich was diagnosed with a rare malignant tumor called Ewing`s Sarcoma. Usually found in the diaphysis (middle part) of long bones Jojo`s tumor was located in the distal part of his left femur and very close to the growth plate. Since tumor-endoprostheses are not available for such young children due to their small anatomical dimensions, an amputation or rotation plasty has to be performed in these cases.
But the surgeons in Munich aimed at avoiding to amputate the leg of this five-year-old boy. Therefore they developed a surgical plan in order to resect the tumor with wide margins and reconstruct the bony defect with biological material (a combination of his own fibula and a donor bone) but without harming the adjacent growth plate. To realize this courageous and complicated plan the surgeons from Munich contacted Materialise.