3D Printing Custom Boluses for Radiation Therapy

Improve treatment precision by making custom-fit boluses in order to increase treatment efficacy in radiation oncology


Radiation therapy is a treatment indicated for patients with cancer. The objective is to eliminate cancerous cells by means of irradiation, regardless of whether the cells are located on the body surface or deep within the tissues. In order for the treatment to be fully effective, the beam must reach the area to be treated without loss of radiation and without diffusion. To this end, the team uses a mask – also called a “bolus” – that is perfectly molded to the surface of the skin and eliminates any spaces of air, which is the primary factor in radiation diffusion.



This project uses an innovative technique that allows boluses to be designed for each patient and for each type of treatment. After performing a scan while the patient is lying down (the same position to be used for treatment), a 3D printer is used to build a bolus. The bolus is placed on the patient for treatment. The efficacy of these new techniques will be measured; the plan is to increase the efficacy of radiation treatments while ensuring greater comfort for the patient.


project manager

Professor Raymond Miralbell, Head Physician of the Division, Radiation Oncology Division, Oncology Department, Geneva University Hospitals

Ms. Giovanna Dipasquale, Medical Imaging Physicist, Radiation Oncology Division, Oncology Department, Geneva University Hospitals.