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"Do Medical Miracles Actually Happen? Expert Weighs in on How 11-Year-Old Girl's Brain Tumor Disappeared" -Samantha Lauriello

  • Health Magazine
  • New York, NY
  • (December 18, 2018)

In June, 11-year-old Roxli Doss was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that doctors feared would take her life. But just a few months later, it completely disappeared, leaving the Texas girl’s medical team baffled. Doss was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, about six months ago. There’s no cure for DIPG, but Doss went through weeks of radiation to try to combat the tumor. Costas Hadjipanayis, MD, director of neurosurgical oncology at the Mount Sinai Health System said it’s very uncommon for a DIPG tumor to disappear so quickly. Dr. Hadjipanayis, who was not involved in Doss’ case, says it’s equally uncommon for absolutely no trace of the tumor to be seen on an MRI scan. Usually when a tumor like this begins showing improvement, it doesn’t go away completely and doctors are still able to see traces of it. Doss likely had an extremely positive response to her radiation, Dr. Hadjipanayis believes, which doesn’t happen often but is certainly possible. Having such a positive reaction to the treatment is so rare; it seems to qualify as a miracle in our opinion.

— Constantinos Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD, Site Chair, Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Professor, Neurosurgery, Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Neurosurgical Oncology, Mount Sinai Health System

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