UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine Fall 2015 - Page 7

survivor profile Photos courtesy of Children’s of Alabama Kaileb McIntyre B y K AT H Y B O W E R S BRAIN TUMOR SURVIVOR When Kaileb McIntyre was born nearly 14 weeks before his due date in April 2012, his doctors expected that he would face many of the problems typical for premature babies. 10 U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R “He weighed only 2 pounds, 2 ounces, and he had a lot of complications that came along with him being so small, so he had a tough time starting from when he was born,” says his mother, Khalena McIntyre. A routine scan to monitor Kaileb’s development, however, revealed a suspicious area in his brain. Further testing indicated that he had a rapidly growing immature teratoma, or cancerous tumor. “When [the doctors] saw how much it had increased within just 24 hours, they were definitely alarmed, and they let me know they would be sending Kaileb to Children’s Hospital,” Mrs. McIntyre says. Just a few days after Kaileb was transferred to Children’s of Alabama, surgeons were able to remove 90 percent of his tumor. The remainder was treated with chemotherapy. A longstanding partner of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Children’s of Alabama is the nation’s third largest pediatric health care facility and treats 90 percent of the pediatric hematology-oncology patients in Alabama through its Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, a partnership among Children’s, the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and the Cancer Center. “Whenever we care for a child with a brain tumor, it takes an elaborate multidisciplinary team to provide the best care possible,” says Alyssa Reddy, M.D., Kaileb’s pediatric neuro-oncologist and a senior scientist at the Cancer Center. “We are fortunate to have all the resources here to do this routinely, but Kaileb’s case took us to a whole new level.” Ever year in the United States, approximately 13,400 children between the ages of birth and 19 are diagnosed with cancer. Brain tumors are the most common form of solid tumors among children under the age of 15 and represent about 20 percent of all childhood cancers. According to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, an estimated 4,552 children and adolescents – approximately 13 each day – were diagnosed w