Nearly 700,000 people live with primary brain and central nervous system tumors in the United States, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.

Supported by a £67,000 $98,000 grant from the Brain Tumor Charity, a team led by Dr. Will Shu and Dr. Nicholas Leslie of Heriot-Watt University s Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering will 3D print brain tumor stem and cancerous cells using a unique technique, reports The National.

We have developed a novel 3D-printing technique to print brain tumor cells for the first time, cells that continue to grow rapidly, more closely mimicking the growth of these aggressive tumors in real life, Dr. Leslie told The National.

This means previous attempts to grow and test them haven t offered scientists the valuable insight they were hoping for.

By recreating the environment within our body, Dr. Shu and Dr. Leslie hope their technique will better resemble the cancer cells growth in patients brains, and thus allow for more beneficial experiments.

The prognosis for newly diagnosed brain tumor patients is currently very poor and improvements have been very limited, in large part due to the failure in clinical trials of many new drugs, Dr. Shu told The National.

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