3-D Printed Cancer: The Breakthrough and The Risks

The discussion on our last class touched slightly on 3-D printing organs. I am not the kind of person to follow every new technology that comes out, so I was caught off guard by it. I decided I wanted to find out more about it. Through curiosity, I found that the development is going so quickly, that organs are not the only kinds of cells that can be 3-D printed. Apparently cancer tumors can also be 3-D printed. The main purpose of 3-D printing cancer tumors is to study cancer and eventually find a way to cure it.

However, the fact that we can 3-D print cancer tumors now, means that 3-D printing other diseases is not going to be something that is too science fiction in the near future. This raises a serious safety and ethical concern. The fact is, the ability to 3-D print diseases will be very dangerous if the wrong people get their hands on it. The problem is that there is nothing that seems to be regulating 3-D printing organs yet. Knowing this fact and the risks associated with it, the question remains: Is the medical field ready to be using 3-D printing as a research tool? Do you think it is time to initiate regulation concerning 3-D printing organs?

3 Responses to 3-D Printed Cancer: The Breakthrough and The Risks

  1. 3-D printed organs could result in a lot of good for the human race without out a doubt but I had never thought about the possibility of printing cancer or potentially harmful diseases. I think it is definitely worthy to raise a lot of concern. Biological warfare has been a huge concern since people realized they could use contagious diseases to dismantle a group of people. Without any 3-D regulations, if the wrong people find a way to print something that potentially harmful I’m sure they will do it. 3-D printing could bring back diseases that were previously thought to be gone, or make new more powerful diseases.
    As a research tool, if kept under strict rules, if some potential extreme good could result from it, I think it definitely should be used. If there is some way to find cures for things like cancer, it should be used. By modeling cancer this way, it could lead to a cure, which something that humans have been striving for a long time. With new technology, new research and new ways of looking at things are going to happen and I think if there is an extreme good that good result, it would be better to use that technology than not.

  2. 3-D printed organs can definitely help out humanity a lot. With so many people needing organ replacement it can definitely do wonders. 3-D printing can designate an organ that would be compatible with people since not all donated organs are compatible with everyone. This would provide much faster access to people who need the organs. Some people are actually waiting for months in the hospital just to get a new organ!
    I also see the 3-D printed as a tool for research. Researchers can use the 3-D printed organs to experiment on and learn new cures that can be used for good. It can develop cures for maybe cancer for all types of organs!

  3. In my opinion, 3-D Printing will definitely be more beneficial to humanity than it will be detrimental to humanity. I believe this because the money used toward advancement of society would be far greater than the other side. I believe this because if someone wants to put money toward harming society, it would be easier for them to use other means. 3-D Printing, being relatively new to overall society, is hard to get its hands on. There was the one case where the guy printed a gun, another where the organ was printed, and that was a huge eye-opener for society. It showed that 3-D Printing could potentially harm society or on the contrary, help society because it shows us that we can literally print anything, and thats huge. In the future, society as a whole will definitely be using 3-D Printing for everything.