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?

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