A 14-year-old girl from the United Kingdom is one of the youngest people to be diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Macie Greening of Cullompton, Devon is one of nine children in the world to suffer from this rare cancer, and one of only 20 known in the world to have this form of cancer.
About 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United Kingdom each year, and only 10% are diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma.
The disease is known to be caused by ingesting or inhaling asbestos fibers and affects the abdominal region.
Macie has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy, but the treatment is not working. This form of mesothelioma is typically treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Macie is not considered a candidate for surgical removal of her tumors.
She is now hoping to be accepted into a clinical trial.
Macie’s parents are still uncertain about how their daughter developed mesothelioma. They are unaware of any exposure she may have had. Physicians are unsure of how a 14-year-old girl developed a disease that typically takes 30-40 years to develop.
Asbestos fibers kill cells after entering them, which can lead to genetic mutations that cause surrounding cells to develop into malignant tumors.
Macie’s case is such an anomaly that doctors are sending samples of her tumors around the world for study.
Family and friends are hoping to raise £15,000 for Macie to send her on her dream trip to Disney World.
Sufferers of this rare form of mesothelioma may survive several years after diagnosis, but the prognosis is generally poor.
Macie’s consultant stopped the course of treatment, as the chemotherapy was not effective. The family is now exploring other options. Surgery has been ruled out, so the family is hoping Macie will be accepted into a clinical trial.