3D nose reconstruction thanks to the Liège-based company CERHUM
In 2013, a French patient lost a large part of her nose due to radio and chemotherapy treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer. The Cancer University Institute of Toulouse (IUCT) recently transplanted a brand new 3D nasal organ developed by the Liège-based company CERHUM, which specialises in bone reconstruction.
You heard that right: not a prosthesis or a skin graft, but a three-dimensional nose. It is made of bioceramic, a specific biomaterial whose composition is very similar to that of human bone. The nose is custom printed for the patient from 3D images taken before the cancer treatment begins. Customised work is beneficial for bone construction, regardless of the treatment the patient has undergone. This reconstruction is also five to seven times faster than a conventional artificial transplant. The therapeutic gain is therefore unprecedented.
Initially, the new nose was transplanted onto the patient's forearm to give her body a chance to colonise it. Two months later, it was applied to her face during a microsurgical procedure involving the attachment of a large number of blood vessels. In the meantime, she can breathe through her nose again, but a follow-up operation will require some adjustments to be made.
This is considerable medical progress by the Liège-based company CERHUM, which was founded in 2015 and specialises in the manufacture of medical devices for bone reconstruction.