Ohio woman is cancer free following promising clinical trial, she claims

An Ohio woman claims she is now cancer free following a clinical trial. Denise Keenan, from Youngstown, was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2009 and has been battling the illness ever since, she told Fox 8. EATING ORGANIC FOODS CUTS CANCER RISK, STUDY SUGGESTS The 66-year-old, who has gone through periods of remission since … Continue reading “Ohio woman is cancer free following promising clinical trial, she claims”

An Ohio woman claims she is now cancer free following a clinical trial.

Denise Keenan, from Youngstown, was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2009 and has been battling the illness ever since, she told Fox 8.


The 66-year-old, who has gone through periods of remission since her initial diagnosis, told the news station she had “started getting used to the idea of not being here anymore".

This was especially true after she learned cancer had spread to her lungs and chest.

“She's convinced me probably a hundred times over the years that she was a goner,” her husband, Jim, added.

But that’s recently changed, as Keenan recently underwent CAR T-cell therapy through a clinical trial at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, she said.

CAR T-cell therapy, according to the National Cancer Institute, is a “type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added in the laboratory. The special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)."

“Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion,” it added.

“We collect the patient's cells. They get modified with a particular virus that introduces the genetic modification over 12 to 14 days,” Paolo Caimi, a hematology and oncology specialist at University Hospitals, explained.

Keenan said she underwent the trial in July and was cancer free a month later, in August.


It’s not clear if Keenan will remain cancer free, as long-term data regarding the clinical trial is not yet available. But for now, Keenan, who recently celebrated her 35th wedding anniversary with Jim, plans to make the most of each day.

"The future is unknown so just enjoy the moment. I think you're a lot happier if you can do that."

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Terminally ill mom dies week after dream wedding

A terminally-ill mother has died just days after friends organized her dream wedding in just 36 hours.

Tasha Burton, 36, was admitted to a hospice on Nov. 27 at 10 a.m., and at 1 p.m. on Nov. 28, she and fiance, Daniel Corley, walked down the aisle.

The couple, who had been together for three years and have a 19-month-old son, were building a life when Burton was diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2017.

After a year of battling the disease, a recent scan revealed that the tumors had spread to her lungs, liver and lymph nodes and doctors said she only had two weeks to live.

Burton's best friend, Kat Leyden, decided to arrange a dream wedding for the couple.

She put an urgent request on Facebook through the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, and was overwhelmed when friends, family and big-hearted businesses wanted to help.


Sadly, one week after the wedding, the mother-of-one passed away.

"I am truly sorry to have to tell you that my beautiful wife sadly lost her fight tonight at 5.30pm," Corley wrote in a Facebook post. "She passed away peacefully surrounded by love. I am absolutely devastated but know that she will live on through our beautiful son Alaric. Tasha was surrounded by family and friends and fought to stay with us for as long as she could. She was a truly special person and will be missed by many people, especially her husband, son and family.”

The wedding was organized by The Hospice of St. Francis, in Berkhamsted, Herts., in just 36 hours and the team managed to pull together Burton's dream wedding.

"Without the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, we would have been completely lost but the Hospice has put all the pieces of the jigsaw together," Leyden said. "The Hospice’s mantra is all about helping people to live their precious lives well and this is that ethos in action."

Tasha Burton, 36, was admitted to the inpatient unit at the Hospice of St Francis, in Berkhamsted, on Nov. 27, and on Nov. 28, she and her fiance, Daniel Corley, walked down the aisle.  (SWNS)

The couple got engaged in 2016 and Burton gave birth to their son, Alaric, shortly after.

But when he was just 6 months old, a scan revealed that the new mom had bowel cancer.

The couple walked down the aisle to James Arthur's "Say You Won't Let Go," and Burton was given away by her father, David, and her son.

After the couple walked out to John Legend's "All of Me," Burton said: "It was just lovely, absolutely amazing."

"People's generosity was absolutely stunning and getting it all organized in 36 hours was just incredible," she said at the time. I was so happy."


"We got together in July on my birthday and six months later we were engaged," she said. "We knew it was love. Getting married is something we've always wanted to do so today really is the fulfillment of a dream and we can't thank everyone enough."

Daniel added: "It's been the most amazing day – I don't think I've ever seen Tash look so beautiful."

Before Burton died, her and her family set up a JustGiving page where they were aiming to raise £5,000 to create lasting memories for her and her loved ones.

The young family has managed to raise 89 percent of their target for Daniel and Alaric.

Mom with cancer whose search for bone marrow donor went viral gives birth to twins

A California mother who was diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant with twins gave birth to a boy and girl on Thursday, named Rainy and Ryan. Susie Rabaca, whose search for a bone marrow donor went viral last month, is reported to be doing well, according to Fox LA.

Doctors had planned for the bone marrow transplant to occur shortly after the twins’ arrival, but it was not immediately clear if a date had been set.


Rabaca’s plea for help inspired approximately 40,000 people to register with the National Marrow Donor Program after none of her family members were found to be a donor match.

The 36-year-old, who has three other children, said finding her match was “everything.”

“For me to find one and for it to be 10 out of 10 at that, is amazing,” she previously told ABC 7. “Nothing better in the world right now.”


The Carson, Calif. woman said she wanted to find a donor so that she could live for her children. Due to her mixed heritage, finding a perfect donor match proved difficult.

“Only 3 percent of our registry is mixed ethnicity and so it can be really difficult to find a matching donor,” Julie Kornike, of BeTheMatch.org, previously told ABC 7. “The fact that we have identified a potential match for her is really exciting.”

Blood test can detect cancer in 10 minutes, researchers claim

A simple blood test has been developed that can diagnose cancer in just 10 minutes. It spots tiny amounts of DNA floating through vessels that could only have come from tumors – and not healthy cells.

The breakthrough could lead to much earlier detection and more chance of a cure – with treatment beginning even years before symptoms develop.

It is hoped it will eventually be performed at the same time as routine blood tests, such as a cholesterol check – even using a mobile phone app.

Corresponding author Professor Matt Trau, of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, said it may be the "Holy Grail" of cancer diagnostics.


"Virtually every piece of cancerous DNA we examined had this highly predictable pattern," he said.

If you think of a cell as a hard-drive, then the new findings suggest the disease needs certain genetic programs, or "apps," in order to run.

"It seems to be a general feature for all cancer. It's a startling discovery," Trau said. "The test to detect cancerous cells can be performed in 10 minutes."

In experiments, it distinguished tumors from healthy cells with up to 90 percent accuracy. The technique can also be used on tissue biopsies.

Blood tests are sometimes ordered to help doctors diagnose cancer, but different ones are required depending on the type suspected.

And they are not definitive, but one step in the process.

An MRI scan is the most often used method, but it tends to miss small tumors – only working to confirm a diagnosis when it is often too late to start treatment.

About nine in 10 cancer deaths involve a diagnosis that came too late.

So the Australian team's breakthrough paves the way to saving countless lives.

The test described in Nature Communications exploits the differences between the DNA in cancerous and healthy cells to allow for a quick, early diagnosis.


It is based on a process known as epigenetics – the attachment of a chemical tag known as a methyl group to DNA.

This alters how DNA can be read, switching genes on or off.

Coauthor Dr. Abu Sina said: "Because cancer is an extremely complicated and variable disease, it has been difficult to find a simple signature common to all cancers, yet distinct from healthy cells."

So the researchers focused on DNA that circulates in the bloodstream after cancer cells die and release their cargo.

Coauthor Dr. Laura Carrascosa said: "There's been a big hunt to find whether there is some distinct DNA signature that is just in the cancer and not in the rest of the body."

They discovered cancer cells' genome is essentially barren except for intense clusters of methyl groups at very specific locations – instead of being spread evenly like in normal cells.

These distinct patterns of molecules control which genes are turned on and off at any given time and "decorate the DNA"

The researchers have dubbed it the cancer "methylscape" – for methylation landscape.

It appeared in every type of breast cancer they examined and other forms of the disease too including prostate and bowel cancer, as well as the blood cancer lymphoma.

When placed in solution, those intense clusters of methyl groups also caused cancer DNA fragments to fold up into three-dimensional nanostructures that really like to stick to gold.

Taking advantage of this, the researchers designed a test which uses gold nanoparticles.

These instantly change color depending on whether or not the 3-D nanostructures of cancer DNA are present.

"This happens in one drop of fluid. You can detect it by eye, it's as simple as that," Trau said.


The technology has also been adapted for electrochemical systems, which allows inexpensive and portable detection that could eventually be performed using a mobile phone.

So far they've tested the new technology on 200 samples across different types of human cancers, and healthy cells.

"It works for tissue-derived genomic DNA and blood-derived circulating free DNA," Trau said. "This new discovery could be a game-changer in the field of point of care cancer diagnostics."

Although not perfect yet, the researchers said it is a promising start and will only get better with time.

It will be some years before it can be used in the clinic.

"We certainly don't know yet whether it's the Holy Grail or not for all cancer diagnostics," Trau said. "But it looks really interesting as an incredibly simple universal marker of cancer, and as a very accessible and inexpensive technology that does not require complicated lab-based equipment like DNA sequencing."

Toddler with rare blood type sparks worldwide search for donor

A worldwide search is underway to find a donor with an incredibly rare type of blood needed to help save a 2-year-old girl in Florida. Zainab Mughal, who has neuroblastoma and requires life-saving transfusions, is missing the “Indian B” antigen in her blood due to a genetic mutation.

Due to the mutation, experts say the possibility of finding a compatible donor who must be Pakistani, Indian or Iranian, is “less than 4 percent.” Zainab’s donor must also have an “O” or “A” blood type.


According to her father, none of her relatives who donated are a match, but three donors have been located in the United Kingdom. But OneBlood, the lab facilitating the search, said in a press release that she needs more blood than the three donors have given for her treatment. OneBlood, which said the ideal number of donors is between seven and 10, is offering to coordinate testing for anyone who believes they fit the criteria.

“This is all hands on deck,” Frieda Bright, OneBlood’s reference laboratory manager, said in a video promoting the search. “We are searching the world to try to find blood for this little girl.”

According to The Miami Herald, the family’s plight began two months ago after doctors discovered a tumor that had been growing undetected in Zainab’s stomach. She was then diagnosed with cancer.


Neuroblastoma most often occurs in infants and young children, and accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers in children. According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 800 new cases of neuroblastoma diagnosed each year. In about 2 out of 3 cases, the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body upon diagnosis.

“We were all crying,” Raheel Mughal, the girl’s father, said, according to the Miami Herald. “This was the worst thing we were expecting.”

Dad’s picture of sleeping toddler captures frightening cancer symptom

The parents of a 3-year-old girl found out she had cancer after a cute photo of her falling asleep in a swing turned out to be a symptom of the deadly disease.

Dad Dave Fletcher, 39, thought he was capturing a tender childhood moment when he pictured daughter Izzy dozing off at a playground when she was 23-months-old.

But just a few weeks later Fletcher and wife Vicky, 37, were left devastated after their toddler daughter's tiredness turned out to be a sign that she had leukemia.


The battling youngster has since undergone 570 doses of grueling chemotherapy and is now receiving maintenance therapy in a bid to stop the cancer from returning.

Fletcher said he thought nothing of it at first when he snapped Izzy nodding off in the swing at a park near their home in Claines, Worcester.

He is now warning other parents to be vigilant and look out for the tell-tale signs of the disease.

The couple first took Izzy to a doctor in January last year after a strange rash appeared on her leg. (SWNS)

"It was just an afternoon pop out to the swings. She was swinging away – I turned around and she had dropped off," Fletcher, an auditor, said. “She was drowsy and fell asleep but I didn’t think much of it. I thought it was a cute moment and just took a picture of her as you do."

"It was only afterward we realized it was all part of the symptoms and what I'd captured was her displaying signs of something more sinister," he said. "She had been tired, had had a few colds or viruses, and quite a bit of bruising on her legs. But we put all this down to normal childhood bumps and minor illness."

“You get a bit sentimental, looking at pictures of her before she was ill – you just realize how much she's been through since at so young," he said.

The couple first took Izzy to a doctor in January last year after a strange rash appeared on her leg.

They were advised to come back several days later for blood tests if the rash had not gone away, and to take her straight to hospital if it got worse.

However by the next morning, Izzy’s rash had spread and she then developed a temperature, so her parents took her to Worcester Royal Hospital.

She was diagnosed with leukemia the same day and began a course of chemotherapy the following week.


Izzy spent her second birthday in Birmingham Children’s Hospital waiting to have a procedure to sample her bone marrow.

As part of her care, Izzy was enrolled on a clinical trial called UKALL 2011 and will remain on treatment until May next year.

This trial aims to see if changing the standard chemotherapy treatment will reduce side effects and help stop their disease from coming back.

"She has grown up very quickly and been subjected to medicine she doesn't like but has taken everything in her stride so far," Fletcher said.

"When she was diagnosed it came out of the blue. We were both in real shock as it happened so fast," he said. "It was a big unknown. A family member died of leukemia five years ago, so it was a scary time. We didn’t know what was going to happen at that stage or what the future held."

Brave Izzy has now received a Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Award in recognition of what she has been through. (SWNS)

“But we were lucky Izzy was diagnosed quickly and lucky she has coped very well with the treatment, suffering very few setbacks or unplanned hospital admissions," he said. “The type of leukemia she has has a better chance of recovery than some others. She is young which helps those odds."

“It makes us more optimistic. She doesn’t have to have so many steroids because of the trial she is on," Fletcher explained. "It’s a treatment plan they use in other countries and we are grateful to be given the opportunity. It shows just how important research is in pioneering new treatments. The NHS doctors and nurses have been brilliant, and we've had lots of support from family and friends."

Brave Izzy has now received a Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Award in recognition of what she has been through.

“Izzy was so excited to receive her award. It was a nice positive experience that rewarded her for struggling on with her treatment," Vicky Fletcher, an archivist, said.

Jane Redman, spokesperson for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens in Worcestershire, said: “Cancer can have a devastating impact on their lives and many of those who survive may live with serious long-term side effects from their treatment. Our mission is to fund research to find new, better and kinder treatments for young cancer patients."

“We want to bring forward the day when every child and young person survives cancer and does so with a good quality of life."

Click here to nominate a child for a Cancer Research Kids & Teens Star Award.

Surgeons remove massive cancerous tumor from man’s jaw

A dad-of-four who hid his face from the world for 10 years has embarked on a new life after having an enormous 5.3kg (approx. 11.6 pounds) tumor removed from his face.

Majeed N, 45, from India, underwent a painstaking 12-hour facelift surgery to have the cancerous lump cut out.

His lower jaw was reconstructed to completely change his appearance using a bone taken from his leg.

For the past decade, Majid has barely left his house in the city of Palakkad because he was ashamed of his facial deformity.


The tumor, known as a chondroblastic osteosarcoma and measuring 8-inches by 6-inches, also made it difficult for Majeed to swallow and speak.

“Due to the huge deformity on my face, my whole life had collapsed," he said. "I began staying indoors as people made fun of me. It is a huge relief to get the tumor off my face – it is almost like a second birth.”

The complicated surgery was carried out by 12 surgeons at Amrita Hospital in Kochi over the course of a number of hours.


"Despite having several cycles of chemotherapy, the swelling on Majeed's face continued to enlarge, making his life unbearable," Dr. Subramania Iyer, who oversaw the surgery, said. “The huge mass was leading to grave complications. If the condition had persisted, Majeed would have found it impossible to use his mouth."

"The removal of the tumor, as well as reconstruction of the lower jaw, was a great challenge," Iyer said.

Iyer said that Majeed is recovering well following the successful surgery.

Childhood cancer survivor becomes nurse at hospital that helped save her

A childhood cancer survivor has spent the last three years working alongside some of the staff who helped save her over 22 years ago thanks in part to the National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS), which provided her with a scholarship for her four years of college.

Jennifer Toth, who beat hepatoblastoma as a toddler, said she always knew she wanted to work with childhood cancer patients and their families in some capacity, but it wasn’t until she shadowed nurses and nurse practitioners during a summer program in high school that she knew she found her home.

“[The program] made me think back to the role that nurses and NPs (nurse practitioners) played during my time as a patient,” Toth, 26, told Fox News.

She said that while her entire medical team at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) helped support her and her parents who had just learned that their 2-year-old had a softball-sized mass on her liver, it was Pat Brophy, a nurse practitioner who has since died, who stuck out the most.


“Thinking about the nurses who I had known made the decision to become a nurse, and hopefully someday a nurse practitioner, an easy one,” Toth said.

She had learned about the NCCS’s Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship Program through her survivorship program and applied when she decided on University of Pennsylvania’s nursing school. Now back in grad school at UPenn, she said that part of the school’s appeal was the close proximity to several hospitals where she could complete her clinical rotations, including CHOP.

“I always thought that it would be amazing to come full circle and work at the same hospital where I had been a patient,” Toth said.


She accepted a position at CHOP on a surgical unit for a few months before transitioning to her role on the inpatient oncology unit. She said that while she doesn’t hide that she’s a cancer survivor, she only shares her story with her patients and their families when appropriate, such as when they notice her hearing aids and she explains that hearing loss was a side effect of chemotherapy.

“Even when I don’t explicitly share my own diagnosis with my patients, I hope that my experience as a patient and a survivor shapes my nursing practice in a way that conveys deep empathy and understanding,” she said. “Hearing my parents talk about their experience having a child with cancer has also given me more perspective than I would otherwise have into what my patients’ parents experience, which impacts how I interact with parents.”

Ohio nurse who lied about terminal cancer diagnosis gets prison time

A nurse in Ohio who lied to her friends and coworkers about a terminal lung cancer diagnosis, receiving paid leave and thousands of dollars in cash and gifts in response, is going to prison.

Tawni Fuller, a former nurse anesthetist at Ohio State University, was sentenced Monday to two years in prison, three years on probation and was ordered to pay $47,000 in restitution, The Columbus Dispatch reported.


The sentencing comes after the 34-year-old pleaded guilty in October to theft and telecommunications fraud.

“It’s just like nothing I’ve ever heard in all the years I’ve been doing this,” Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger reportedly said at the hearing.

Fuller’s lie was revealed in August 2016 after she told friends and coworkers who showered her with sympathy and gifts she was cancer free — a “miraculous” recovery that “boggled” doctors, she claimed in a series of text messages at the time, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

“I was suffering — so stuck and lost that I couldn’t get out,” Fuller said in an apology at her sentencing. “I never wanted to hurt any of you.”

But many of those who testified against Fuller felt angry and duped. One woman, Tina Dalzell, recalled a time Fuller reportedly claimed to see Dalzell’s deceased husband in the afterlife during a “near-death” experience while she lied about being ill.

“Only a cruel, narcissistic person could watch me go through such pain and suffering,” Dalzell said. “I am offended and disgusted that she mocked cancer patients.”

Another, Heather Gschnell, said Fuller was “cunning — a mastermind.”


Fuller would often appear in front of coworkers wearing a headscarf and using a cane or walker as well, according to the publication.

“It’s almost evil what I heard today. It’s just plain evil,” Judge Krueger added.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Mom battling cancer while pregnant with twins finds bone marrow donor match

A pregnant mother whose search for a bone marrow donor went viral last week has found her match, after her story reportedly inspired 40,000 people to register with BeTheMatch.org.

Susie Rabaca, who is due to give birth to twins next week and has three other children at home, was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago.

Acute myeloid leukemia starts in the bone marrow and moves into the blood, and can spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes and other organs. According to the American Cancer Society, about 60,300 new cases of leukemia will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. Of those, about 19,520 cases will be AML.

The 36-year-old mother from Carson, Calif., was devastated to learn that her sister was only a partial donor match, and took her search public.


“Finding my match is everything to me, so I can be here for the three children I have, and the two that I have on the way, it’s everything,” Rabaca had told Fox 11. “It’s so easy, there’s no painful procedure, there’s no surgery, it’s just swab your mouth and it’s as simple as a blood draw, and you can save somebody’s life, if not mine, somebody else’s.”

On Wednesday, Rabaca got the news that she desperately needed to hear.

“For me to find one and for it to be 10 out of 10 at that is amazing,” she told ABC 7. “Nothing better in the world right now.”


Rabaca does not know the identity of her donor, but her mixed heritage had added difficulty to the search.

“Only 3 percent of our registry is mixed ethnicity and so it can be really difficult to find a matching donor,” Julie Kornike, of BeTheMatch.org, told ABC 7. “The fact that we have identified a potential match for her is really exciting.”

Rabaca’s doctors had planned for the transplant to occur shortly after the twins’ Dec. 6 arrival.