Well, this is pretty spectacular news: An 8-year-old in the United Kingdom has beaten a rare type of cancer that is typically fatal.
Claudia Burkill was diagnosed with metastatic pineoblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, in June 2011. Her prognosis was terminal. But, after many sessions of an experimental treatment, she has apparently beaten the odds and recovered.
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Photo courtesy of Claudia's Cause
Claudia's family announced the all-clear this week on a Facebook page devoted to the 8-year-old's battle with the inoperable brain tumor.
Originating in the pineal gland, pineoblastomas are rare and aggressive tumors that mainly crop up in children. While the brain tumor can be treated -- sometimes with surgery, but primarily with radiation and chemotherapy treatments -- the likelihood that a patient will survive for long after a diagnosis is not high.
According to the National Institutes of Health: "Individuals with a pineoblastoma live an average of 20 months after their diagnosis, and 10 percent of affected individuals are alive 5 years after their diagnosis."
Fortunately, Claudia's sessions of high-dose chemo and radiotherapy throughout the last few years proved effective.
"Her latest MRI scan shows no evidence of tumor, which is excellent news," Dr. Sophie Wilne, a consultant of pediatric oncology at the University of Nottingham, said, according to the Nottingham Post. "This is a very difficult brain tumor to treat so I am delighted that three years later Claudia has beaten the odds."
As of 07/06/14 Claudia is no longer classed as terminal. 695 days before (13/07/12), came the terminal prognosis. pic.twitter.com/dWqZiaCZsU
— Claudia's Cause (@ClaudiasCause) June 8, 2014
Claudia's family set up a charity in her name, Claudia's Cause, to raise funds for brain tumor research at The University of Nottingham.