Father and daughter try to invent a cure for fibrolamellar carcinoma: details

Father and daughter try to invent a cure for fibrolamellar carcinoma: details


Elana Simon and her father, Sanford Simon, an oncologist, are trying to develop a cure for fibrolamellar carcinoma, a rare, usually fatal form of liver cancer.

Elana herself suffered from this disease as a child and was miraculously cured. writes The Guardian.

The girl was 10 when she began to suffer from stomach pains. Doctors tried to establish a diagnosis, but without success. And only in 2008, doctors discovered the real cause of the schoolgirl’s ill health – liver cancer.

“The moment I learned about Elana’s condition is forever etched in my memory. I was determined to find out the cause and find ways to solve it.

Then I worked as a cell biologist and could have continued my career. Elana’s diagnosis changed everything, in particular and the direction of my research is now completely focused on cancer.” – said Professor Sanford Simon, the girl’s father.

Surgeons removed a tumor, which has not yet had time to spread to healthy liver tissue. Doctors say it is a real miracle that the girl survived, having this form of cancer.

Elana graduated from Harvard University and joined a team of laboratory researchers at Rockefeller University in New York, which her father directed.

Since then, scientists have made significant progress in the study of fibrolamellar carcinoma. In addition, they won a grant of 20 million pounds to carry out further research.

In particular, scientists tried to find out why this disease occurs.

“We didn’t know if it was inherited or if it was caused by a specific environmental disease,” Simon said.

To do this, Elana, who is currently pursuing a doctorate in computer science and cancer biology at Stanford University, asked her friends who had also previously overcome cancer to provide tissues for laboratory research. In total, they received 15 samples, thanks to which scientists were able to make important discoveries.

“We discovered that this disease is caused by by mutationwhich was the same for each tumor sample.

With this form of cancer in children, there are not so many mutations, so it was much easier for us to understand what was really happening.” – remarked Elana.

In addition, the results of the study indicate that fibrolamellar carcinoma is not a hereditary disease.

“The decisive factor affecting its occurrence is ecology. In addition, if a tumor removed before it spreads to other organs can stop it cancer. There is little chance that it will appear again.” – scientist Sanford Simon explained.

Elana and Sanford Simon hope that the obtained results will help them invent a new type of therapy against cancer tumors. Currently, they are working on developing new methods of treating carcinomas that will be more accessible and less complicated than chemotherapywhich is used now.

“We want to create medicines in the form of tablets so that they are available in places with low levels of medical care”said Professor Simon.

We will remind, in Great Britain the first patients received experimental therapy against cancer.


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