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Mumbai child receives special injection to treat rare cancer

A toddler from Mumbai has become the first child in the country to receive Dinutuximab Immunotherapy to treat neuroblastoma — a rare type of cancer of the nerve cells. Diya Gala, a three-and-a-half-year-old girl from Andheri in Mumbai, received injections worth ₹1.35 crore on compassionate basis at the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai.

Rajesh Deoji Gala and Kalpana Gala had not been able to understand why their second child, Diya, used to cry profusely. When they noticed that she had become quite weak, they took her to a local doctor who prescribed medicines that gave her relief for some time. Later a visit to a specialist confirmed her disease.

Dr. Prashant Hiwarkar, a bone marrow transplant physician at the Wadia Hospital, said, “Diya was brought here with non-resolving abdominal pain. An ultrasound showed a mass in her abdomen and a battery of tests later diagnosed her with metastatic neuroblastoma. It is the second most common solid tumour in childhood. The symptoms are bone pain and a lump in the abdomen area, neck, or chest. In India, children get treated with a conglomerate of therapy involving chemotherapy, surgery, autologous stem cell transplant followed by radiotherapy. Only 40% survive long term.”

Dr. Hiwarkar added that a year after the diagnosis, Diya was given Dinutuximab, one of the new generations of medications called immunotherapy. “It is used for those patients whose condition hasn’t improved despite the standard treatment.”

“Our world came crashing down after the diagnosis. We took the help of various platforms for raising funds. But Wadia hospital treated our daughter on a compassionate basis. Over the last year, Diya had to make continuous trips to the hospital and has spent around eight months in the hospital. Now, she is slowly getting back on track. She has completed the first course and will receive the second course after 35 days,” said Mr. Gala.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 12:38:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mumbai-child-receives-special-injection-to-treat-rare-cancer/article36676089.ece

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