St George Private Urologist, Dr Paul Cozzi. 12 The Ramsay Way 2015 | 04 3D printer ends patient’s three decades of pain Story courtesy APHA’s Antony Perry For more than three decades, James Southwell lived in pain. His discomfort was caused by an unstable hip and several unsuccessful attempts to fuse and heal the bone. But a breakthrough procedure at Southern Highlands Private Hospital has changed Mr Southwell’s life. The Southern Highlands local recently underwent a procedure to have a custom designed titanium plate inserted into his hip to stabilise the joint. The plate was constructed from a 3D image and was printed as an exact fit for Mr Southwell. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Nick Hartnell, a veteran with more than 18 years of experience, worked with Bespoke Medical Innovations to design the plate for Mr Southwell. “Through the advancement of such technology we were able to model and create the perfect anatomical fit to the patient’s remaining bone stock, target quality fixation points, choose the design and size of screws,” Dr Hartnell said. “This provided us with confidence that stability could be achieved.” Dr Hartnell said 3D printing had revolutionised the way surgeons were thinking about procedures. “It gives us the ability to provide customised solutions where once we have never had options before,” he said. “After the operation, Mr Southwell told me he is the best he has been in 37 years.” HOSPITALS St George Private gunning for Prostate Cancer Critical research being carried out on St George Private Hospital cancer patients, aims to help see all Australian men free of prostate cancer in the next 5–10 years. Urologist Associate Professor Paul Cozzi, whose research has been widely published in some of the world’s most respected journals including FASEB, the International Journal of Radiation Oncology and Prostate – has taken hundreds of tissue samples from prostate cancer patients to identify prostate cancer biomarkers in the urine, tears and blood – to help stratify those patients at risk of recurrence. “Although prostate cancer survival rates are high, we still lose 3000 men in Australia to prostate cancer every year and that’s why biomarker discoveries are so important in predicting which cancers are metastatic; who to treat aggressively and who not to.” Dr Cozzi is also currently using a new nuclear medicine technique which is highly sensitive and can track even the most miniscule prostate metastases - via a surface cell receptor called prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) that emits radioactivity. “Essentially this test can pick up the smallest, most microscopic metastases. This kind of technology is paradigm shifting. “Already it is starting to replace bone scans and will provide greater peace of mind for those men vulnerable to metastatic prostate disease.” World-class treatment reduces risks of radiotherapy for breast cancer patients World-class new treatment for breast cancer patients is giving patients peace of mind and a reduced risk of side effects to their heart when treated at Genesis CancerCare at the John Flynn Cancer Centre. Goggles and a small box containing specialised camera equipment to monitor breathing enables the patient and the radiation therapist to achieve the correct breath hold for treatment. Whilst modern radiotherapy for left-sided breast cancer is a well-proven treatment with low side effects, the new treatment further reduces the risk of radiation injury to the heart. The new Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) technique requires patients to hold their breath during their daily radiation treatment to increase the distance between the heart and the left breast. When the natural space between the heart and the breast is at its greatest, treatment is delivered, reducing the heart’s exposure to radiation. This treatment is a significant clinical advance but it also has important benefits in reducing patient anxiety. The proximity of the heart and coronary vessels in patients with left-sided breast cancer can cause concern when radiotherapy is necessary, so the knowledge that radiation risk is reduced can help to lessen some of the traditional treatment stress. Another first for this treatment is that patients participate directly with their treatment, they wear video goggles that allow them to control their depth of breathing during the treatment by visualising how deep their breath hold is. “Once I was familiar with my breathing rhythm, DIBH gave me some control over my own treatment. I didn’t feel a thing post treatment and am absolutely fine,” Ann said.
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