Claudia Burkill was diagnosed with malignant brain tumor metastatic pineoblastoma three years ago, when she was just five years old. This is a very rare case of brain cancer, which is only diagnosed about four times each year. Doctors said Claudia only had a 5 percent chance of survival.
Brain cancer is extremely rare as it is, with a less than 1 percent chance of developing a cancerous tumor in the brain or spinal cord. Pineoblatomas account for less than 0.1 percent of all brain tumors. They grow in the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin, the hormone that helps to regulate the sleep cycle.
Claudia's parents wanted a second opinion, so they went to another doctor who found a tumor in the middle of her brain. They began undergoing experimental treatments, which included 44 sessions of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is able to kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA, but it also damages the healthy tissues closely. However, these healthy tissues are usually able to repair themselves and can continue to grow normally.
After three years, Claudia, who is now 8 years old, is cancer-free and the very first person in the world to beat the extremely rare metastatic pineoblastoma.