Novel 3D Custom-Made Silicone Tumor Model as a Support for Teaching Surgical Oncology Principles
Traverson, M., Laws, A. C., Wood, M., & Harrysson, O. L. A. (2023, June 5). JOURNAL OF VETERINARY MEDICAL EDUCATION.
Alternative laboratory teaching methods are becoming increasingly desirable and effective in medical education environments. While ethical concerns associated with the use of live animals in terminal surgery laboratories have been reduced with cadaveric models, availability, and lack of pathology can limit their ability to adequately convey surgical principles and replicate clinical training. We have developed a three-dimensional (3D) custom-made silicone soft tissue tumor model using 3D-printed molds derived from canine soft tissue sarcoma computed tomography images. This novel teaching model allows users to apply surgical oncology principles and perform basic technical tasks such as incisional biopsy, margin demarcation, marginal and wide surgical excision, and inking of surgical margins. A large cohort of students in addition to a small number of professional veterinarians at different levels of specialty training followed the laboratory guidelines and evaluated the simulated tumor model based on a qualitative survey. All participants were able to successfully complete the practical training. The model also allowed the students to identify and correct technical errors associated with biopsy sampling and margin dissection, and to understand the clinical impacts related to those errors. Face and content validity of the model were assessed using Likert-style questionnaires with overall average instructors’ scores of 3.8/5 and 4.6/5, respectively. Content validity assessment of the model by the students approximated instructors’ evaluation with an overall average score of 4.4/5. This model development emphasizes the efficacy of alternative non-cadaveric laboratory teaching tools and could become a valuable aid in the veterinary curricula.