Woman Diagnosed with Mesothelioma is Pregnant

A woman from Adelaide, Australia who was diagnosed with mesothelioma a decade ago is now pregnant with her second child.

According to an article in The World Today, 39-year-old Belinda Dunn took part in a gene therapy trial soon after she received the news she had mesothelioma ten years ago and is now expecting. Doctors are baffled both by her survival rate and her pregnancy.

Dunn just feels thankful. When she was diagnosed 10 years ago, doctors told her she’d be dead within a year. Dunn believes her survival is attributed not only to the gene therapy, which she received in the United States, but also the other little things she does in an attempt to stay healthy.

“I’ve taken lots and lots of vitamins at the time of – under the guidance of my naturopath – with the gene therapy trial, and I’m just wondering if it was because my immune system was in good shape when I had the trial that perhaps that’s helped it,” Dunn said.

But Professor Doug Henderson of Flinders Medical Center, the doctor who diagnosed Dunn, says that her recovery “cannot be explained by science, and therefore has little significance at this stage for other sufferers.”

”I have seen other rare cases of mesothelioma that have gone into apparently spontaneous complete remission and one patient whom I remember very vividly was alive with a completely normal chest X-ray and otherwise well, eight years after the diagnosis had been made,” he added.

“We don’t know the reasons for spontaneous regression like this in tumors. It might be due to some altered cellular dynamics within the tumor itself, but why that should happen we really have no clear idea,” he explained

The other theory is that the immune system of a body somehow gains a boost and gains ascendancy over the tumor and puts it into remission, the article noted

In the meantime, Dunn’s pregnancy is progressing without complication and she hopes her case is giving hope to others with this normally-aggressive, hard-to-treat disease.

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