NOTE: The families of children with DIPG are being asked not to contact the hospital in Bristol at this stage, as the medical trial is not currently accepting new patients. It also cannot be proven, at this early stage, that Keira’s progress is a direct result of this medical trial as she has received other treatments such as radiation (in addition to the infusions) which may have contributed to her positive progress.
Alford girl Keira Wrenn has become the first child to have ‘no evidence of tumour’ after undergoing radical treatment for a rare and ‘terminal’ form of brain stem cancer.
Keira, seven, has battled Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) for the past two years, and she has been receiving treatment as part of a pioneering medical trial in Bristol for several months.
The youngster managed to wow her doctors earlier this year after her tumour showed evidence of shrinkage - and in her latest scans, there is ‘no evidence of tumour’ at all.
While there is still a long and uncertain road ahead, her family hope that the tumour will stay away for good - and that Keira could be on the road to a remarkable and unique recovery.
Following the pioneering medical trial in Bristol last year, which involved ‘convection-enhanced drug delivery’, Keira’s tumour showed signs of shrinkage in a follow-up MRI scan at the start of this year.
‘We can finally breathe - we will live today, and deal with tomorrow if it comes’Emma Wrenn
Now that doctors can find ‘no evidence of tumour’ in Keira’s brain, it means she is the first person ever to make this positive breakthrough - although the youngster will continue to have scans every eight weeks to monitor her condition.
If the tumour returns she will return to Bristol for treatment.
Keira’s tumour was first discovered after she collapsed while on a family holiday in summer 2014.
Her form of brain stem cancer is extremely rare, affecting only 35 children in the UK every year.
Her mum, Emma, told the Leader that she was “still in shock” after being informed that there was no evidence of tumour in Keira’s brain following the latest tests.
Emma said: “No other child has ever got this far, so they are not sure what will happen.
“It may be gone for good or it may regrow. But for now, there’s nothing there to treat.
“I still can’t get my head around the fact that we’ve got this far. I’m over the moon.
“It still feels like a dream, instead of the nightmare we’ve been living for almost two years. It feels surreal at the moment.
“We can finally breathe. We will live today, and deal with tomorrow if it comes.”
Emma added: “Now it’s a case of rehabilitation, which Keira improving on daily,
“It will be a long process and hard work but she’s improving. We are getting ready for her to return to school in September, as she’s missed nearly a year.”