|Innovative Treatment Options|
Through a collaborative effort with Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center, the physicians of The Denver Clinic developed a chemotherapy protocol for treatment of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) that has been shown to result in the best 10 year survival for adults and kids of any place in the country.
This partnership began because it was recognized that bone cancer affects dogs much more frequently than humans. By developing an intra-arterial chemotherapy protocol that was effective in dogs, clinicians worked to determine if the same approach would be beneficial in humans. This protocol, which places chemotherapy agents directly into the tumor, has resulted in 92% of kids treated in this manner to be alive at least 10 years after their original diagnosis and 89% of adults.
The protocol requires a close team approach to management of the tumor. The oncologist, orthopedic surgeon, and radiologists are all in communication about a patient's progress and treatment plan. This unique approach to patient care is fundamental to the success outcome of treatment.
The Growing Prosthesis
The Repiphysis "growing" prosthesis was designed by Ross Wilkins, MD and Arnaud Soubeiran, PhD because of a need to allow a child's leg that had been treated for bone cancer to grow as their non-affected leg was growing. Prior to the Repiphysis, a child had to undergo multiple surgical procedures to extend the length of their affected leg so they wouldn't have a serious leg length difference. The growing prosthesis allowed for the expansion (growth) of the metal prosthesis without requiring a surgery.
The design includes a spring mechanism covered by a plastic type material. By placing an electomagnetic coil around a child with the repiphysis implanted, the plastic heats enough to allow the spring to expand without harming the child's skin. The amount of expansion is carefully controlled and the child's leg "grows" slowly as the other leg grows over the years.
Click here for a video of this process