Home » Texas Children’s Cancer Center First in Texas to Magnetically Lengthen Nine-Year-Old’s Leg as She Grows
April 15, 2010 – Texas Children’s Hospital
Bone cancer patient, Morgan LaRue, is the first patient in Texas to have her leg magnetically lengthened.
Nine-year-old Morgan LaRue is the first cancer patient in Texas to benefit from a groundbreaking procedure that will magnetically lengthen her leg, sparing her the possibility of up to 10 future surgeries as her body grows. The implant and extension took place at Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. To learn more about Texas Children’s Cancer Center or the device, please see bit.ly/MorganLaRue.
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 undergoing 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.
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 the first and only device 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. Lisa 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 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. Lisa Wang, Morgan’s oncologist, “and this will prevent her from future uncomfortable surgeries.”
Learn more about the Bone Tumor Program.
Doctors Help Girl’s Leg Grow – KPRC-TV, Houston, TX (video no longer available)
Houston Cancer Patient Using Magnet to Grow Leg – KIAH-TV, Houston, TX
Cancer Patient’s Leg Saved – Chron.com, Houston, TX (video no longer available)
Texas Children’s Hospital Groundbreaking Surgery – YouTube.com
Girl, 9, gets revolutionary leg lengthening device – KTRK-TV, Houston, TX
9-year-old Cancer Patient gets Experimental Leg-lengthening treatment in Houston – KHOU-TV, Houston, TX
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.
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 ranked in the top ten best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Texas Children’s also operates the nation’s largest primary pediatric care network, with more than 40 offices throughout the greater Houston community. Texas Children’s has embarked on a $1.5 billion expansion, Vision 2010, which includes a comprehensive neurological research institute, the formation of a maternity center, and the development of the new West Campus, Texas Children’s first pediatric hospital in a suburban setting.
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 www.twitter.com/tch_news
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