Saturday, September 5, 2009


Background Story

Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that occurs in infants and young children. It is rarely found in children older than 10 years. The cells of this cancer usually resemble very primitive developing nerve cells found in an embryo or fetus. (The term neuro indicates "nerves," while blastoma
refers to a cancer that affects immature or developing cells).

After several tests, two tumors were found in Marissa. One in her abdomen and one next to her left eye. Cancer has also spread in to her bone marrow. A biopsy of the tumor was sent to Los Angeles and the results are as follows:
Dr. Shimada's evaluation of the tumor biopsy: HIGH RISK
MYCN GENE: amplified / unfavorable
DNA PLOIDY: favorable
Shimada Classification: unfavorable

Marissa's Treatment:
7 rounds of high dose chemo- Bronson Hospital
stem cell rescue/collection (10 million stem cells collected)- U of M
remove tumor in abdomen 3/26/2007 - U of M
3F8 Antibody therapy-Sloan Kettering NYC (so far, 5 rounds of 3f8 and HAMA)
a second stem cell collection (7 million stem cells collected)-Sloan Kettering, NYC
14 rounds of radiation, 2 times/day with sedation-Sloan Kettering, NYC
6 rounds of retinoic acid (Accutane), 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off- home (5 rounds completed)
8 rounds of lower dose chemo (Irinotecan and oral temador) NYC & Kalamazoo
12 rounds of radiation to her entire skull
Many scans and bone marrow biopsies
Marissa relapsed on October 19, 2007 with 3 spots on her skull. This cleared after full skull radiation and 8 rounds of Irinotecan/Temador. It took 6 months for the spots on her skull to clear. On April 10, 2008 after her MIBG scan we found that Marissa now had a new spot of NB in the marrow on her spine between L3-L5. The NB is also in her bone marrow, but is microscopic. There is question if the NB is in her spinal fluid.
On April 21, 2008 Marissa started more high dose chemo.
On June 5, 2008 we were told that the cancer had spread everywhere in her body and there were no more treatment options.
Marissa was sent home from MSKCC on hospice.
Marissa became one of God's Angel's on Friday, June 13, 2008. She is forever loved and missed. Marissa was laid to rest on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. Giving tree code 24348. Donate in Marissa's honor, proceeds will benefit new treatments.
We have gotten to know little Marissa through her mommy Traceys, beautiful discriptions and memories she so fondly shares with us. Marissa loved purple and she loved all things small!
Marissa's amazing family also continue to bring awareness in the hope of finding the cure . Randy, her daddy does a lot of cycling to raise awareness and funds , he recently completed a ride for The Make a Wish foundation and raised over 3050 Us Dollars for the cause!!!!!!!!!!
What a beautiful spirit which will always be remembered - please join us in continuing to pray for the Monroe family and their beautiful angel Marissa

No comments: