A six-year-old schoolgirl has become the first in Britain to undergo pioneering new cancer surgery at the Harley Street Clinic.
For the first time, doctors have been able to carry out a high-tech procedure - to remove bone containing a large tumour, treat it with radiotherapy and then put the cancer-free bone back in the body – all under one roof.
Until now, medics have had to send bone tumours by motorbike to another hospital to be zapped with high-doses of radiation before the bone was put back into the patient’s body.
Russian schoolgirl Darya Egorova became the first to benefit from the £70,000 procedure last month.
Last night her mother Irina, 41, an associate professor of Physical Education and Sport at Tula State University said the treatment was a ‘miracle’.
In Russia, the family had been told the only options for Darya, who loves sport and dancing, were either a leg amputation or to keep her leg but leave the joint completely immobile.
Rob Pollock, consultant orthopaedic oncologist who carried out the operation, said this new approach is of huge benefit to patients because it cuts the operation time by at least an hour, reducing the risk of infection and complications.
“A shorter operation means less anaesthetic, less risk of complications and infections, less soft tissue damage and less pain and bleeding, all of which are better for patients.
Two days after the groundbreaking operation, Darya was trying to walk again with the help of crutches and was in hospital for just a week. Over the next two years, healthy bone will gradually grow through the dead bone, bringing it back to life.
Private hospital news : 23 July 2010