Receiving a brain cancer diagnosis for their children can be devastating for parents in Pennsylvania. People want to make certain that their children are getting the best treatment possible so that their chances of survival might be improved. Unfortunately, a recent study showed that pathologists have a high error rate when diagnosing children with cancer called a CNS-PNET.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, looked at the use of a technology to inspect tumors from the brains of participants who had been diagnosed with CNS-PNET. The participants were all enrolled in a large trial at 150 institutions around the world.
The researchers discovered that 31 of the participants in the clinical trial had been diagnosed using traditional methods with CNS-PNET. However, the researchers found that methylation tests revealed that 22 of them had different types of brain cancer that required different types of treatment. They should not have been admitted to the clinical trial or have received the medical treatments that they had received. Some of the patients had a type of brain cancer that has a much better prognosis than CNS-PNET with 75 percent surviving for longer than five years. Some also had glioblastomas, which have a much worse prognosis.
A misdiagnosis of a child's cancer can cause irreparable harm. Children who are diagnosed with the wrong cancer may receive aggressive treatment that can cause severe side effects while not helping them to fight the cancer that they do have. When the correct diagnosis is delayed, the patients' conditions may worsen because they didn't receive the right treatment. People whose loved ones were misdiagnosed with the wrong type of cancer might benefit from talking to a medical malpractice lawyer. An attorney might help people to hold the responsible doctors liable for their actions and to prevent similar misdiagnoses from happening to others in the future.