Updated on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 09:15 AM IST

Mumbai: Surgeons save 8-year-old cancer patient’s leg

Doctors extracted the tumour-affected bone, exposed it to high radiation outside the body and fixed it back

An eight-year-old boy, Aryan Kumar, detected with aggressive bone cancer and advised amputation by top cancer institutes, underwent successful limb-saving surgery at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital recently. In an extremely complicated surgery, doctors extracted the tumour affected bone, exposed it to high dose radiation outside the body to eliminate all cancerous cells and fixed it back.

Aryan was detected with osteosarcoma in June 2021. “He was playing in our backyard and suddenly rushed home crying and complaining of unbearable leg pain,” said Aryan’s mother, Suman Prasad. As the pain persisted, the family consulted a local physician. Aryan’s x-ray's finding came as a shock to the family. “A black mass was visible near Aryan’s thigh. We immediately visited an orthopaedic oncologist in Bhopal, who diagnosed Aryan with osteosarcoma after a biopsy,” said Suman.

With hopes of better treatment, the family travelled to Mumbai and visited a premium cancer facility. “The doctors suggested amputation or Rotation plasty, a surgery that ensured mobility but would’ve caused a lifelong disability,” said Suman.

Dr Manish Agarwal, Director, Surgical Oncology (Orthopaedic), Nanavati Max Institute of Cancer Care (NMICC) and Dr Kaustav Talapatra, Director - Radiation Oncology, NMICC, immediately started drafting a treatment strategy for Aryan. The doctors could employ a combination of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. “Since the tumour was touching the growth plate of the knee joint, Aryan’s left leg would have remained 8-10cm shorter and require frequent artificial knee prosthesis surgeries in future. The second option of an expandable prosthesis to ensure natural bone growth, was expensive and exercised extreme financial strain on the family,” said Dr Agarwal.

After considering all treatment options, the team decided to perform the advanced ‘Extracorporeal irradiation of femoral bone,’ surgery. Dr Talapatra said, “We surgically removed the tumour affected bone and treated it with high dose radiation to kill the cancer cells. Once free of cancer, the bone was fitted back in its place. This procedure—known as extracorporeal radiotherapy, required teamwork, expertise and sophisticated technology.”

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Published on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 09:17 AM IST