Brain Scan
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
July 11, 2024 ·  3 min read

Boy Is The First To Be Cured Of A Deadly Brain Tumor

Lucas was six years old when he was tragically diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumor. Right then, the outlook was bleak. French physician Jacques Grill remembers the agonizing meeting he had with Lucas’s parents. During this, he broke the devastating news of their son’s terminal brain cancer. However, after running a course of special medicine, the brain tumor miraculously disappeared!

After seven years, Lucas, now 13 years old, is a ray of optimism: 

Amazingly, later on, Science Alert reports no sign of the once-debilitating tumor returning. Lucas is a Belgian youngster who is the first child in history to overcome brainstem glioma. The experts at the Gustave Roussy malignancy Centre in Paris have established that the malignancy is aggressive.

Lucas’s tenacity astounds Dr. Grill, leader of the center’s brain tumor program, who says, “Lucas defied all odds. I observed as the tumor vanished entirely across several MRI images.” Formally known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), this tumor affects up to 100 children in France and about 300 children in the United States annually.

A scan of a brain tumor
Image Credits: Pexels

Progress is recognized as the medical community observes International Childhood Cancer Day. Nowadays, more than 85% of kids with brain cancer survive for more than five years after their diagnosis. However, prospects are still dismal for patients with DIPG, though; the majority pass away within a year. Just 10% of patients make it past two years, even with efforts to slow the tumor’s fast growth with radiation therapy.

Read More: Boy Was In a Coma For 13 Years and When He Woke Up He Shared an Unsettling Truth

A Trip Into The Uncharted Territory For Lucas And His Family To Cure His Brain Tumor 

It was new and fearful grounds for Lucas and his family, who traveled to France to sign him up for the BIOMEDE experiment. It is an endeavor to look at new DIPG therapies. Lucas amazed physicians with how well he responded to the medicine Everolimus that was given to him at random. His tumor completely disappeared across several MRI images. Moreover, the tumor didn’t re-materialize when Lucas stopped taking the drug after a period of time. It is an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of medicine. Dr. Grill suggests that the tumor’s uncommon mutation increased its responsiveness to the medication, which accounts for Lucas’s remarkable recovery.

Lucas (L, boy) with his family
Image Credits: ScienceAlert

Researchers are intrigued by Lucas’s case and are investigating further, examining genetic abnormalities and growing tumor organoids in lab conditions. The research’s supervisor, Marie-Anne Debily, is upbeat. She even sees a possible breakthrough where Lucas’s molecular differences might open the door to efficient therapies. “Finding a medication that affects tumor cells in the same way as these cellular alterations will be the next step.“, says she. “I don’t know of any other case like him in the world,” stated Dr. Grill.

Lucas’ Brain Tumor Is Extremely Special

We think the incredibly unusual mutation in Lucas’s tumor rendered its cells significantly more drug-sensitive. He said, “Lucas is thought to have had a specific form of the disease,“. She further added, “To successfully replicate what occurred spontaneously with him in other patients through medicine, we must comprehend what and why.

Though caution is maintained, encouraging signs have emerged. Dr. Grill warns that effective medicines may only be available for a while highlighting the drawn-out process from discovery to medication development. David Ziegler, a pediatric oncologist, concurs, pointing out that the field of DIPG therapy is expanding but also stressing the importance of ongoing studies and clinical trials. “It’s a lengthy and drawn-out process; it takes on average 10-15 years from the first lead to become a drug,” Grill continued.

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