Toddler From Dudley Fighting Against Cancer And Liver Disease At The Same Time
A cancer stricken two-year old toddler in Dudley, Northumberland, UK who is battling neuroblastoma- rare form of childhood cancer- clings dearly to life after contracting a fatal liver disease known as veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after exposure to high-dose chemotherapy.
VOD is a complication resulting from the obstruction of the small veins in the liver with mortality rate of more than 30% of the time.
Frankie Sherwood's frail body was forced to accept repeated chemotherapy blasts after doctors diagnosed him with stage 4 neuroblastoma. Doctors refused to operate on the malignant tumor until it was reduced to size. After shrinking the lump into a manageable size, medical experts proceeded carefully.
But the neuroblastoma operation came at another expense: the emergence of another life-threatening liver disease inadvertently caused by toxic chemical-based treatment.
"His tummy and liver were just keep getting bigger and bigger. It has been awful," worryingly said Hayley Laidler, Frankie's mom as quoted by The Newcastle Chronicle.
Several weeks of medication somehow made the baby's bloated tummy reduce in size but the road to recovery is still a continuing uphill battle for the years to come.
Even if Frankie survives the current ordeal, there's 80% chance of relapse before he turns five. To avert the likelihood of relapse in the future, the family is launching a fundraising campaign to raise £500,000 to cover the cost of specialized 'relapse treatment' in the United States according to a report by The Mirror.
In another development, a recently FDA-approved immunotherapy drug known as Unituxin or dinutuximab offers new hope to kids diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma without the need for enduring destructive exposure to chemical-based treatment. This medication developed by St. Baldrick's Foundation researcher Dr. Alice Yu is part of a breakthrough list of immunotherapy treatments that are making a promising headway in medical field.