No sign of cancer after boy becomes ‘radioactive’

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

Thumbnail for 9969By: Kyle Dyer


Thursday’s scan and the other scans he had this week collectively show no sign of cancer in his body.

There is no sign of cancer in Ben Brewer.

This is the news the 13-year-old and his family were counting on Thursday, six weeks following an extreme procedure to get rid of the cancer.

In October, Ben had liquid radiation injected into his body at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He chose to have that done after his third relapse of neuroblastoma. It is a cancer of the nervous system that he was first diagnosed with when he was 2 years old.

Over the years, Ben has had countless chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“Unlike traditional radiation where there’s a beam that treats the tumor from the outside, this goes to all the tiny tumor areas and can treat many spots throughout the body, not just one big area,” Ben’s oncologist Dr. Meg Macy said. “It really is one of the most promising treatments for relapsed neuroblastoma.”

Thursday afternoon, Dr. Macy told Ben and his parents, Sarah and Matt, that Thursday’s scan and the others scans he had this week collectively show no sign of cancer in his body.

The family is overjoyed. They’re also planning the next step.

Since neuroblastoma tends to return, the family is considering a clinical trial regarding a vaccine. It will require Ben to make frequent trips to a hospital in New York since Children’s Colorado doesn’t currently have a trial like this right now.

Ben is not surprised by today’s news. Earlier this week, he reached over to this mother as she was driving, he held her hand for a moment and assured her that everything was going to be ok.

“It’s the news that they needed the week before Thanksgiving,” Dr. Macy said. “We all have a lot to be thankful for.”