Eckert & Ziegler receives CE approval for innovative irradiation applicators using 3D printing

(PresseBox) ( Berlin, )
Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG has received CE approval for the world's first applicators manufactured by 3D printing and designed for the treatment of gynecological tumors. Made of biocompatible and sterile plastic, the attachments extend the range of applications of conventional applicators. They are now also suitable for targeted, needle-assisted brachytherapy using HDR afterloading and can significantly increase the 3-year survival rate of cancer patients.

"Thanks to the new applicator add-on kits, we can now offer patients with advanced cervical cancer an optimal therapy that can be used to treat tumors with complex volumes that are difficult to properly cover. At the same time, it facilitates our work process, as the applicator is already delivered sterile. In order to be able to treat the patient-specific findings even better, the add-on kits are available in fifteen different forms," explained Professor Dr. Jean-Michel Hannoun-Levi, Head of the Radiotherapy Department at the Centre Antoine Lacassagne in Nice.

"The CE mark is an important milestone for us, as the add-on kits are the world's first 3D printed medical product family approved for needle-assisted brachytherapy", said Dr. Harald Hasselmann, member of the Executive Board of Eckert & Ziegler AG. "The 3D printing process, which has been specially developed and validated for the manufacture of sterile medical products, opens up completely new possibilities for the further development of our product portfolio and thus for the treatment of many types of cancer".

The add-on kits fit to nearly all common HDR treatment devices and thus can be used in many clinics.

HDR (high dose rate) brachytherapy is conducted with a so-called HDR afterloader, also known as a remote afterloading system. With the help of applicators and catheters, the very small radiation source is driven from a shielded safe – located inside the afterloader – directly into or next to the tumor. A computerized treatment planning program calculates precisely how long the source has to stay and radiate at the so-called dwell positions before being driven back into the safe. HDR brachytherapy can often be performed on an out-patient basis. It is conducted in only a few treatment sessions, destroys the tumor cells and spares surrounding healthy tissue as the radiation is applied from within the tumor. This noticeably increases the patient’s quality of life.
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