HealthWatch: The right team, timing and treatment

Health Watch

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – You heard it takes a village to raise a child. Well, in one little girl’s case, it took the right team of doctors, at the right time, with the right treatment to save her life.
Four-year-old Michelle Lowry is all about learning her letters.
And her numbers, but her parents didn’t know if they could count on seeing this day. What they thought was a tiny bug bite on Michelle’s neck turned out to be a tumor.
“It’s just pure terror and fear and the unknown,” Joe Lowry said.
After a battery of tests … doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles diagnosed Michelle with a soft tissue sarcoma.
“It was all the way almost around her neck,” Christina Lowry described.
Because of the location, surgery and radiation were ruled out. Doctors used a new precise cancer panel called OncoKids to read Michelle’s DNA and RNA. The panel revealed Michelle would be a perfect candidate for a targeted new drug, Larotrectinib. Doctors worked fast to get Michelle in a new clinical trial.
“She was getting worse by the moment,” Christina Lowry said.
An investigational pharmacist raced in to prepare the twice-daily doses. And within 24 hours of her first dose, Michelle’s tumor had shrunk.
Jaclyn Biegel, PhD, FACMG, director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles said, “She went from being in really extreme situation to out of the ICU and off the floor and home in a couple of days.”
Two months later, her tumor had shrunk by 60 percent. Two years later, the tumor is undetectable.
“We look at her and we think we’re lucky; we’re blessed,” Joe Lowry said.
Blessed for the oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and lab techs who saved this little girl’s life.
Based on other positive outcomes like Michelle’s, the FDA granted accelerated approval of Larotrectinib. OncoKids is the first cancer panel designed specifically for children’s cancers and can detect genetic alterations for pediatric cancers including leukemias, solid tumors, sarcomas and brain tumors.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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