"The success of Regional Chemotherapy method lies in the fact that medication is delivered directly to the tumor site through arterial blood. This allows to significantly increase absorption and to improve efficacy." — Prof. K. R. Aigner
Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) April 06, 2017
Medias Health Inc. has started the #damagecancer Project initiative to tell the stories of patients with advanced-stage cancers, who have successfully undergone Regional Chemotherapy treatment. These are the stories of people who kept fighting and received second lifelines after they were told that palliative care was the only option left when accepted treatment protocols failed. Today we share the story of Melina, a little girl who did not give up fighting cancer.
At the age when smiling children attempt their first steps, or practice their social skills, making friends in a daycare, little Melina (5) already grew accustomed to hospital settings. This cute little girl suffered from an aggressive type of head and neck cancer. She endured countless chemotherapies and irradiations, but there seemed to be no hope for her. One unique therapy turned out to be her new lifeline.
At Melina's birth a tumor was found on the left side of her little throat. Her doctors were saying to her parents Katharina and Eugene that the tumor was benign. At first everything looked good. Unfortunately, when the child was 18 months old, the tumor came back. This time it was malignant, and it grew to measure ten by six centimeters. Melina’s mother recalls her shock at the time.
The parents hoped that their “little sunshine” would be quickly restored to health with standard chemotherapies. The reality turned out to be different. Melina tolerated her chemotherapy treatments very badly. The little girl suffered from nausea, difficulty swallowing, extreme weight loss, nose bleeding and other side effects. The biggest problem was that the tumor could not be surgically removed, because it had grown around an artery. The doctors tried their best, but after every surgery the cancer came back with a vengeance.
The parents were desperately looking for therapeutic alternatives. Last autumn, a clinic recommended the so-called Regional Chemotherapy cancer treatment (RCT). Searching the Internet, Katharina came across the term "experimental" and "scientifically not proven". But she did not let herself be discouraged. Numerous reviews also pointed out to incredible therapeutic successes of RCT. "I knew instinctively that this was our last chance ..." — says Katharina today.
Prof. Karl R. Aigner, medical director of a renowned private oncological surgery clinic in Germany and world's leading expert on Regional Chemotherapy, said that Melina suffered from a rhabdomyosarcoma. This type of cancer is caused by degenerative or not fully developed cells of the muscle or connective tissue. He noted that whenever such tumor is removed surgically, it comes back aggressively. If the surgery was not a complete success, Melina could have dire consequences. The cancer could have spread in the throat or grow into the cranial base, causing paralysis and suffocation.
Prof. Aigner recalls that initially there was an issue getting approval to apply Regional Chemotherapy for pediatric oncology. He had built a new building for his clinic in the autumn of 2015. The health authority initially refused to allow him to treat children. Prof. Aigner referred Melina to a specialized surgery department of the pediatric clinic at a university. Unfortunately, they did not succeed in their treatment.
In the meantime, the city’s district councilor had warmed up to the idea of Regional Chemotherapy and managed to ensure that Prof. Aigner was given permission to use his unique therapy for children with cancer.
There was another problem. The family health insurance provider refused to pay for the alternative therapy. "The pediatric clinic should have explicitly prescribed this treatment in their paperwork," explains Katharina. It was then that her husband and she decided to sell their car. Luckily for them, they did not have to, because Prof. Aigner agreed to treat their little girl free of charge. He also paid for materials and medication from his own pocket. "We are eternally grateful to him," says Katharina, referring to Prof. Aigner. She also notes that RCT seemed to be the only therapy to help Melina.
"The success of Regional Chemotherapy method lies in the fact that medication is delivered directly to the tumor site through arterial blood. This allows to significantly increase absorption and to improve efficacy" — explains Prof. Aigner. "This also means that healthy organs are spared." In Melina’s case, the medication was delivered to the tumor site via a child port, the Portolino, which was developed by Prof. Aigner. The Portolino port was inserted in Melina’s neck. Only after two treatments, the tumor had shrunk to the point that it could be completely removed surgically.
After all the excitement of the last years, Katharina and Eugene can now breathe easier, — "Regional Chemotherapy was our last resource, and it has given our child a chance for a new life!"
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