On March 29, 2010, Morgan lost a portion of the bone in her upper leg to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and was facing the potential of numerous surgeries in order to keep her left leg even with her right, as she grows into adulthood. In her initial surgery two weeks ago, Dr. Rex Marco, an oncologic orthopedic surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, implanted a prosthetic device that saved Morgan from a lower limb amputation and allowed her cancerous bone to be replaced with a metal implant. The device, a Stanmore Implants Extendable Distal Femoral Replacement, can be extended as Morgan grows, saving her from ongoing invasive procedures.
Nine-year-old Morgan LaRue prepares for her groundbreaking bone lengthening procedure.
This week at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Morgan underwent her first outpatient procedure to magnetically extend her leg. By placing her leg into a magnetized “donut” in the outpatient clinic, doctors were able to extend the implanted prosthesis without having to do any surgery. The magnet extender, manufactured by Stanmore Implants, is a reversible extender that is the first and only device of its kind to be used in Texas.
“The difference this device makes for Morgan is incredible,” said Dr. Marco. “Her quality of life is so much higher than it would be if she were constantly undergoing surgery.”
While the device has been approved and is regularly being used in Europe, it is still pending U. S. Food and Drug Administration approval and has only been used for approximately 15 patients in this country. Dr. Wang, pediatric oncologist at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Marco, advocated for and received a “compassionate use” exception for the young girl, in order to implant the groundbreaking device.
“Morgan has already been through a lot of treatment for her cancer,” said Dr. Wang, Morgan’s oncologist, “and this will prevent her from future uncomfortable surgeries.”
About Texas Children’s Cancer Center
As an international leader in pediatric cancer research and treatment, Texas Children’s Cancer Center is dedicated to providing novel therapies and family-centered care to children from infancy through young adulthood with cancer and blood disorders – from the most common to rare. Ranked 4th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, making the Center #1 outside the northeast United States as well as #1 in Texas, Texas Children’s Cancer Center treats 2,300 new patients and conducts over 33,000 outpatient visits annually, with patients coming from 35 states and 26 countries around the world. Learn more at www.txccc.org.
About Texas Children’s Hospital
Texas Children’s Hospital is committed to a community of healthy children by providing the finest pediatric patient care, education and research. Renowned worldwide for its expertise and breakthrough developments in clinical care and research, Texas Children’s is nationally ranked in all ten subspecialties in U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Texas Children’s also operates the nation’s largest primary pediatric care network, with over 40 offices throughout the greater Houston community. Texas Children’s has embarked on a $1.5 billion expansion, Vision 2010, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, a comprehensive obstetrics facility focusing on high-risk births and a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children’s Hospital, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children’s Hospital by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/tch_news.
Christy Brunton firstname.lastname@example.org 832-824-2645