The beginning of Andrew’s story started several years ago when his mother, Megan, was a teenager. She was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer at the age of 17. Megan, now in her 30s, is married to Michael, and they are the parents of three young children. In 2013, Megan joined the International Ovarian and Testicular Stromal Registry. Through the registry, she learned that she carries a marker to the DICER1 gene. Megan was pregnant with their third child, Andrew, at the time. Doctors recommended that they test their children for a childhood cancer called pleuropulmonary blastoma, or PPB. It is so rare that only about 50 children globally are diagnosed with it each year.
After Andrew was born, a CT scan was performed at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to take a closer look at him. Doctors confirmed that he had a cystic mass that looked like a growing bubble in his right lung. Andrew’s care team used Vitrea® software to visualize the tumor in his lung. The surgical team performed a 4-hour surgery to remove a golf-ball sized tumor from Andrew’s lung. They used a plastic bag to remove the entire tumor to ensure all cells were carefully contained. After the surgery, doctors confirmed it was PPB, a rare tumor associated with the same DICER1 genetic marker.
Andrew is a healthy little boy and enjoys playing with his siblings. He will continue to have routine follow-up scans and his care team will monitor his health closely over the next five years.