Up until April 2018, Jana was a normal, happy and healthy 4 year old child. But then one day, out of the blue we received the diagnosis neuroblastoma end stadium. At this point the cancer had spread into her bones, liver, back of her head and bone marrow. The tumour, which originated near the adrenal gland, wrapping itself round the renal gland and encased the aorta. After an implantation of a Hickman-catheter Jana started her initial set of therapy. Ten blocks of chemotherapy und a further five more intensive treatments later, the tumour had reduced in size to the extent that it could be removed through a very intensive operation. This followed another high intensive chemo therapy and stem cell transplant in Vienna’s St Anna children’s hospital. This was followed by a month of isolation. Even though her body has gone through so much, Jana has the brave heart of a warrier and admirably completed proton-therapy in Wiener Neustadt. This included daily, intensive radiation of the original tumour while Jana was under general anaesthetic. This was followed by 5 months of anti-body therapy and high dosage of retinoid (Vit A).
After this long and taxing treatment, Jana was officially cancer free and in remission.
Neuroblastoma is a treacherous illness, and the risk of its recurrence is very high. Jana’s family decided, with the support of the children’s oncology department in Salzburg to take part in a study which is meant to impede the cancers return. Jana was cancer free for 1.5 years until the neuroblastoma returned in January 2021. Shortly after the birth of her little brother, metastases appeared in her pelvic and thigh bone. After 2 months of treatments in Salzburg, the medical team recommend giving up the fight and take Jana home. However, the family and in particular Jana kept on fighting and after countless chemo therapies and months in hospitals Jana took part in a new study with support of St. Anna’s Children’s Hospital. Through the “Veritas Protocol” a highly radioactive liquid is injected into the body. This in conjunction with chemotherapy is meant to destroy the cancerous cells. This is an incredibly taxing procedure which took every ounce of strength Jana’s little body had, she only weighed in at 14kg. Despite that she kept on fighting until all metastases, apart from a small amount in her hip, had been destroyed. To destroy the remainder of those metastases, Jana received two cycles of a new anti-body therapy at the Uniklinikum in Mainz, Germany. Unfortunately, this therapy didn’t agree with Jana and the therapy had to be stopped. Jana is currently in Tübingen and is undergoing haploid stem-cell transplantation. This includes in the initial stages radiation therapy and high-dosage chemotherapy to her bone marrow (immune system) where her anti-bodies destroyed. Thereafter a new immune system is built up through a bone marrow transplant. The donor of the bone marrow is Jana’s Mama. The idea is for the new bone marrow to build up Jana’s immune system which will allow her body to help fight the cancer cells. Once the treatment has been successful and Jana is cancer free again, Jana will be able to travel to the USA and receive a completely new and revolutionary vaccination. This vaccination trains the immune system to recognise cancer cells and kill these off, giving Jana a chance of the future.