Teenager with rare cancer successfully undergoes complex surgery at Chennai private hospital, disease-free now

The teen from Kerala was admitted to the Apollo Proton Cancer Centre last year, and underwent a type of surgery with chemotherapy that is usually performed on adults; the patient has now been disease-free for a year, doctors said

December 16, 2022 02:35 pm | Updated 02:37 pm IST - CHENNAI

Khader Hussain, Consultant, Surgical Oncologist (Thoracic) & Robotic Surgeon (fifth from right) and Abhijit Das, Consultant, Surgical Oncologist (Thoracic) & Robotic Surgeon (sixth from right), and Harish Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (fourth from right) along with the team that performed the surgery

Khader Hussain, Consultant, Surgical Oncologist (Thoracic) & Robotic Surgeon (fifth from right) and Abhijit Das, Consultant, Surgical Oncologist (Thoracic) & Robotic Surgeon (sixth from right), and Harish Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (fourth from right) along with the team that performed the surgery | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A 16-year-old from Kerala successfully underwent a surgery for Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that occurs in or around the bones, at the Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), Chennai, last year. The patient has now been disease-free for one year.

Doctors at the centre said, in early 2020, an adolescent patient from Kerala who had cancer underwent chemotherapy followed by surgery and radiation with maintenance chemotherapy. However, the disease recurred within the next six months. Doctors at the then APCC performed a radical pleurectomy with HITHOC (Hyperthermic Intrathoracic Chemotherapy), in which chemotherapy was given for 90 minutes during the surgery.

Khader Hussain and Abhijit Das, surgical oncologists (thoracic) performed the surgery in October 2021 at APCC. “This radical surgery plus HITHOC is a first of its kind for the adolescent. It is generally done for adult patients,” Dr. Hussain said, as per a press release from the centre.

The doctors had diagnosed the cancer in the left intrathoracic region. Highlighting challenges in doing the surgery, Dr. Das said, the chest cavity and vessels are smaller in a teenager compared to an adult, making the surgery trickier. “Treating this case with our experience of 10 such cases in adults made us take the right steps to lead the patient on the road to recovery,” he said.

While post-operative care after a surgery of this kind for an adolescent remains the same as that for an adult, Dr. Hussain said there was a risk of arrhythmia (abnormal beating of heart) during and after the surgery, as the tumor was close to the heart. “The patient recovered in three weeks and is being examined regularly to keep a check on recurrence again and at present the patient is disease free for one year and he has resumed high school,” he said.

Harish Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer, APCC, congratulated the team on the successful surgery and said the well-thought approach and advanced care helped in turning the case around in favour of the patient.

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