After a series of doctor’s visits and tests Hannah officially entered the hospital and began her diagnosis treatment of Neuroblastoma on 3/9/2005. A series of tests were run and it was determined that Hannah had a solid mass tumor in her abdomen. She was released from the hospital on March 11th and instructed to return for an outpatient bone scan on March 16th and then admitted on March 17th for surgery to have a portion of the tumor removed for a biopsy. At the same time they took some bone marrow for testing and Hannah had an External catheters (also known as: BROVIAC®, HICKMAN®) put in for the purpose of receiving medication and blood and also for taking blood and bone marrow for testing. That afternoon her oncologist Louis Rapkin, M.D. informed us that the frozen section taken from the tumor (preliminary report) confirmed that Hannah indeed had Neuroblastoma. He then scheduled to meet with the family on March 18th to lay out his plan for treatment.
The treatment he proposed is called Protocol ANBL00P1 . This protocol is made up of five components. You can click on any of the underlined words for a hyperlink to more detailed information.
Chemotherapy: An induction round (completed on 3/26/2005) and four subsequent rounds of chemotherapy. Ideally each round of chemotherapy will start 21 days from the first day of the previous treatment. Her second round concluded on 4/14 and the third concluded on 59. This type of cancer cannot be treated with chemotherapy alone, so the purpose oh the chemo is to shrink the tumor to make it operable and to clean Hannah's bone marrow.
Surgery: The surgery is to remove all or as much as possible of the primary tumor. Dr. Rapkin has said that the tumor has generally shrunk as much as it is going after the 3rd chemotherapy treatment and he usually prefers that the tumor be removed then, however sometimes the surgeon would rather wait and see if any additional benefit will be derived from waiting until after the fourth treatment. That will be a decision made between the surgeon and the oncologist at that time.
Bone Marrow Harvest and two Bone Marrow Transplants: The type of transplant that Hannah will receive is called an autologous transplant, it uses the patient's own stem cells. Certain diseases do not affect the bone marrow, so the cells are healthy and can be used for the transplant. We really appreciate all the people who have so generally offered to be tested to be a donor for Hannah but we have been told that will not be necessary. The harvest will take place as soon as the the doctor deems Hannah's bone marrow free from cancer and the transplants will take place after she has had her surgery and completed her chemotherapy. The transplants will be back to back. She will have to be in the hospital for a month with each one with one at home week in between.
Radiation: The radiation will take place after all the above mentioned treatments have been completed.
Isotretinoin: This is a biologic treatment to mature any cells remaining in the body to prevent a relapse in the future.
G-tube/PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy): This is the feeding tube. Click the underlined hyperlink for more detailed information.
In addition to these treatments Hannah is going to the clinic regularly and has a home health care nurse that comes out to her house twice a week to make sure she is doing ok and to see if she needs anything. At the clinic they can give her hemoglobin, potassium, antibiotics and anything else they deem she needs through her port (external catheter).
This page will be updated as new information is available. It will also be updated when specific treatments are actually scheduled.
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This page was last updated by PixelFairies 01/16/2006 03:07 PM