Ghaziabad: Team of doctors at Max Institute of Cancer Care, (MICC) Vaishali, led by Dr Vivek Verma, Senior Consultant and Head, successfully cured a 16-year-old boy diagnosed with an aggressive type of bone cancer of the shoulder joint, Ewing’s Sarcoma. The cancer was treated using Cryotherapy, a novel treatment to cure bone tumours, offering hope of recovery to other patients suffering from similar conditions
The Musculoskeletal Oncology unit treats all types of bone and soft tissue cancer and is now using Cryotherapy to treat them. The procedure involves using liquid nitrogen to destroy cancerous cells inside the bones and then using the same bone for reconstruction.
Elaborating on the details of the case, Dr Vivek Verma said, “Cryotherapy is a novel procedure as it uses the same bone for reconstruction.
The boy was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma of the shoulder joint. The family consulted doctors in a government cancer institute where the patient also underwent chemotherapy. He was offered surgery for resection of upper arm and reconstruction with tumour prosthesis. The family then started searching the internet and came across our dedicated orthopaedic oncology services. They watched our educational videos on limb salvage surgeries in complex cases on YouTube and reached out to us. We evaluated the case and decided to go ahead with a limb salvage surgery by preserving the boy’s own cancerous bone. The patient underwent surgical dislocation of the shoulder joint preserving the nerves and blood vessels and then the entire bone was sterilised with liquid nitrogen at a temperature of minus 190 degrees.
Post a successful surgery, the patient was able to begin exercises the following day and was discharged on the fourth day after surgery. Currently, limb preservation surgery is the standard for care in bone cancer patients and can be performed in more than 90% of cases.
Limb preservation surgery to reconstruct the defect is done using mechanical prosthesis or biological methods like using autografts (bone grafting from the patient’s body) or through allografts (bone grafting from a donor’s body). MICC Vaishali is one of the few centres in the country which has all the modalities of cancer treatment under one roof and the team employs the latest technologies for the well-being of their patients.
Raising concerns on the lack of early diagnosis of musculoskeletal cancers in young children, Dr Verma said“Musculoskeletal tumours, though easily identifiable, commonly see late presentations, when the tumour is enlarged as either the parents are ignorant about symptoms or are not picked up earlier by primary physicians treating the child. If there is any swelling of the bone or muscle, continuous pain in bones and joints or fractures with simple injury, such symptoms should not be ignored and need immediate medical attention.”
If any of these symptoms are present, then it needs a detailed evaluation by a specialist. These symptoms may also be present in other disorders like infection, malnutrition, or juvenile arthritis etc. Hence, simple basic investigations like an X-ray and some blood tests can help in arriving at the right diagnosis.