Lennard has completed all the treatments in the Netherlands, and the doctors and nurses are happy with his progress. This means he can now start the follow-up treatment in America. On February 24th, he arrived in Philadelphia for treatment in the CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). The CHOP is a large hospital with a high level of expertise exists in neuroblastoma and childhood cancers. Lennard, his parents and his sister will have to stay in America for this treatment for about half a year.
At the CHOP Lennard will receive “immunotherapy”. These drugs make sure that the tumour cannot regrow and spread again. Other drugs find the remaining tumour cells and destroy them. The immune response of Lennard’s body will be increased in his bone marrow and in his blood. His white blood cells will be better stimulated to destroy the tumour cells. Finally other medications will try to change the remaining neuroblastoma cells into normal cells so that they are less likely to divide.
The total combination of the above drugs is an effective way to combat neuroblastoma in children. This antibody treatment in America has led to revolutionary results in neuroblastoma. This therapy can double Lennard’s chances of recovery!
Immunotherapy will be very tough for Lennard and his family, who will be with him as much as possible. The total treatment consists of six courses in which combinations of different medications are administered. These medicines may cause many side effects and that can ensure that sometimes children have to stop the immunotherapy early.
The doctors in the Netherlands determine, in consultation with their American colleagues, whether a child can participate in treatment in Philadelphia, and in Lennard’s case this is possible. Every year, five to ten children from the Netherlands undergo this treatment in the US. There are usually six to eight Dutch families in America for immunotherapy for their son or daughter. And a total of 225 children from different countries have participated in this therapy. You can find more information on immunotherapy treatment at the CHOP here.
As it stands immunotherapy will come in time to the Netherlands. The preparations are in full swing. However, it is already clear that this development will be too late for Lennard and that he will therefore need to be treated in America. The treatments in the Netherlands have been very hard for Lennard. The treatment in America if possible may be even tougher. Lennard therefore needs the support of his family desperately to get back to a healthy Lennard!
The purpose of this entire fundraising foundation, Lennard4life, is in particular to ensure that Lennard has the support of his parents and his sister in America and that they can rely on each other, so they can support each other together through this difficult time.