Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
13:34 PM

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.