A young cancer sufferer from Alford has been given new hope after groundbreaking new treatment resulted in a shrinkage in her tumour.
Seven-year-old Keira Wrenn was given just months to live when she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) after collapsing during a summer holiday in 2014 - but more than 16 months later, the brave youngster is still fighting strong.
Keira’s form of inoperable brain cancer is extremely rare, affecting only 35 children in the UK every year.
Now, Keira has become one of the first youngsters to undergo a new medical trial in Bristol called convection-enhanced delivery, which her parents hope will shrink the tumour - and perhaps even destroy it altogether.
Due to Keira’s condition she was accepted onto the trial on compassionate grounds, and the pioneering treatment - which involved surgery performed by a robot and chemotherapy administered directly into the tumour - has shown early signs of success.
The 13-hours of surgery took place in October, followed by the chemotherapy infusions in early November.
Keira was then sent to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to rehabilitate, and she was thankfully able to spend Christmas at home after being discharged on December 22.
Although Keira’s brain tumour is the largest to have been treated so far, a recent MRI scan has shown slight shrinkage.
Keira’s mum, Emma, said: “The results so far have been very positive.
“Shrinkage is fabulous news and it is the biggest breakthrough there has been.
“It would be great to destroy the tumour completely, but it’s too early to tell until more children are on it and we are further down the line.
“It will officially be open as a trial for more children soon as soon as the remaining funding is reached.”
The pioneering procedure is still brand new and fundraising is ongoing.
Efforts to raise the £900,000 required to get a further 18 children on to the trial is currently ongoing, and this would mark a major milestone in the development of the treatment.
Almost £700,000 has been raised so far, and you can help by visiting www.fundingneuro.com/
Emma added: “This trial is the biggest breakthrough for DIPG and can potentially help so many children, it’s the only thing worldwide that could help to save lives and I’m so grateful that Keira was accepted on it.”