We are proud to share this story about our joimax® faculty member Dr. Albert Telfeian and how he was able to help 17-year old Jenelle “Nelly” Camara who was suffering from a spinal tumor.
Already in 2014, Dr. Telfeian removed a thumb-sized tumor pressing the girl’s spine cord. The pathology was sent for identification but even the best U.S. labs weren’t able to figure out what the tumor was. Camara underwent radiation therapy and was free of symptoms for a while. But the tumor resumed growth soon and she and her family returned to Dr. Telfeian at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
This time the surgeon decided to use an endoscopic approach with the girl under local anaesthetic. With Camara being awake during surgery, Dr. Telfeian was able to ask her to move her legs which is an important control for the surgeon operating in such close proximity to the spinal cord. With a tiny 8-millimeter incision on her back and specialized endoscopic instruments he was able to do a biopsy on the tumor without removing bony material like in the first surgery.
Within a week the family received a diagnosis which now allows a targeted therapy for Camara who will be able to return to school and cheerleading in fall this year.
Read all the details about how endoscopy helped to identify Camara’s tumor in this article.
NBC also featured the story in NBC 10 News.
A scientific paper (case report) about the procedure was published online in the journal, Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, and will appear in the July 2015 issue.