Please meet Cresencia, our 10year old little girl who’s had a tough time of it. She has been sick for almost half of her life. And despite this fact today we consider her an exceptionally lucky little girl.
Let me explain – at the age of five years she was diagnosed with malnutrition which required support for more than 3 years. She was then well for the next 2 years but recently she was brought to a hospital participating in the National Children’s Cancer Network, NCCN, which TLM supports. She had large ugly swellings all over her head and face, including in her mouth and a big swollen tummy. TLM transported her urgently to Muhimbili National Hospital where scans discovered that she also had shockingly large tumours in her brain.
Despite all this disease we did not give up hope.
Thanks to our friends in the MNH pathology lab and our friends in CHI Crumlin Hospital in Dublin she was diagnosed to have Burkitt’s lymphoma and was started on treatment which included the usual TLM chemotherapy. She also received a special medicine (a monoclonal antibody) which is normally far too expensive for our service, called Rituximab. Thanks to the NIHR-Oxford-MNH-MUHAS-SEREN ground breaking research study on liquid knife diagnostics based in Tanzania and Uganda https://www.ox.ac.uk/research/research-impact/seren this important medication was made available to Cresencia giving her a fighting chance.
She has received 2 cycles of chemotherapy-rituximab. Following this we rescanned her to look at her response so far to treatment ………and guess what???? ……..The disease has completely MELTED!! GONE!…..There’s not a trace of it anywhere – not in her brain; not in her face; not in her tummy – we could not be more relieved and delighted.
Thank you to all who tirelessly reach for change through clinical research like our colleagues leading the AI REAL liquid knife study that helped Cresencia.