Improving Skin Cancer Radiation Therapy with Custom 3D Printed Bolus Devices
Now available at Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute
To create a more uniform radiation dose to a patient’s skin cancer or subsurface skin lesion, radiation therapists use a bolus device, such as wet gauze. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is bringing innovation to bolus devices by using a 3D printer and software from Adaptiiv Medical Technologies, Inc., to create completely customized bolus devices.
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is among only a handful of programs in the nation – and the only location in the region – using this technology.
“Using a computed tomography (CT) scan of a patient’s treatment site, the Adaptiiv software creates a plan from which a 3D printable bolus can be made in advance of a patient’s first radiation therapy appointment,” says radiation oncologist Dennis Sopka, MD, with Allentown Radiation Oncology Associates, and Chair of Radiation Oncology at Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute. “By creating a custom-fit bolus, we can improve our patient’s treatment experience, as well as ensure radiation dose accuracy.”
Using a 3D printed bolus helps ensure curved or irregularly shaped areas, such as nose, ear or scalp, have uniform coverage provided by the custom-shaped device. It also helps increase patient comfort. “We also will be able to provide high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy to a larger subset of skin cancer patients than before by using 3D printed bolus devices,” Sopka says.
Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses, three in Allentown, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; Coordinated Health, which includes two hospital campuses, nearly two dozen multispecialty locations including ambulatory surgery centers and orthopedic injury centers in northeastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey; 26 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation, and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Heart Institute, and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence physicians provide the most advanced treatments. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s only children’s hospital, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is the region’s only hospital nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for orthopedics and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top five hospitals for six consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.