Pseudosarcoma: diagnosis and treatment
This is the story of a true miracle that began in the summer of 2010. It is so moving that it brings tears to the eyes. The tale began on a frightening path – an eight year old Russian boy was diagnosed by his local doctors as suffering from rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder, stage 3. The child underwent a protocol of chemotherapy treatment but despite these drastic measures the tumor continued to grow. A discrepancy occurred between the different laboratories in Russia that reviewed the biopsies. As a desperate measure the mother contacted iMER.
The pathology was presented to the Hadassah laboratories as the family arrived in Israel for a second opinion and if need be, to begin treatment. A consultation between Dr. Weintraub, Hadassah’s leading Pediatric Oncologist and Dr. Y. Landau, a Pediatric Nephrologist took place to review all medical material and examine the child, they concluded that the Russian diagnosis was suspicious.
An additional biopsy was performed at Hadassah and the initial diagnosis was proven wrong. The true diagnosis of the child’s condition was Myofibrilsarcoma (Pseudosarcoma) a rare condition of which only 12 such cases have been documented in the entire world. This type of tumor is benign.
The child underwent surgical removal of the tumor. This was a complex step since the doctors knew that they could possibly encounter damage that had been created by the tumor as well as injury to the bladder walls. If this complication was discovered then the surgery would also involve intricate plastic surgery. Dr. Landau’s vast experience provided him with the unique tools needed to save the bladder despite its damaged state.
One month after his surgery, the child returned to Russia. A follow-up visit at Hadassah which took place the following year showed that he was a healthy and normal child. This is his mother’s letter:
This world is blessed with a child “Misha” – in Israel they called him Michael, our story defies the imagination.
The Israeli diagnosis was Pseudosarcoma, one out of 12 rare cases in the world. The fact that my son is alive is completely due to the iMER staff and their hard work.
I brought him to Jerusalem only half alive – he had stopped eating, was unable to walk and barely functioning. He could not stop screaming from pain and my heart broke into a thousand pieces each day – I feared to bring him to an unknown country. You were with us every step of the way. I only now grasp how difficult your work is. You hold the fate of so many people in your hands in the most difficult times of thier lives.
You at iMER address face-on their fears, hopes and disappointments, happiness and anger. Through all this you maintain a professional attitude in your work. I want to send my best wishes to you all an abundance of health, happiness and all of the good things that life can bring.
Please accept from a mother my many thanks that this world still has a child Shushkov, I wish your company much prosperity so that you can continue to do your blessed work.