Girl's inoperable brain tumor disappears, baffling doctors

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Girl's inoperable brain tumor disappears, baffling doctors
A little girl's inoperable brain tumor is gone and doctors have no explanation.

HAYS COUNTY, Texas -- A little girl's inoperable brain tumor is gone, and doctors have no explanation.

Not long ago, doctors diagnosed Roxli Doss with an inoperable brain tumor, called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG.

"It is very rare, but when we see it, it is a devastating disease," Dr. Virginia Harrod, with Dell Children's Medical Center, told KVUE. "You have decreased ability to swallow, sometimes vision loss, decreased ability to talk, eventually difficulty with breathing."

Dr. Harrod said the now 11-year-old went through weeks of radiation, even though there is no cure.

In August, the family held a benefit for her and the Buda community responded in a big way. At that point, all Gena and Scott Doss could do was pray for a miracle.

"And we got it!" Gena said.

"Praise God we did," Scott said.

Now, they cry tears of joy.

"When I first saw Roxli's MRI scan, it was actually unbelievable," Dr. Harrod said. "The tumor is undetectable on the MRI scan, which is really unusual."

Doctors can't explain why the tumor disappeared.

"At Dell Children's, Texas Children's, at Dana-Farber, at John Hopkins, and MD Anderson, all agreed it was DIPG," Scott said.

From no cure to no trace, the family said now they only have God to thank.

"Everyday we still say it," Gena said. "It's kind of our family thing that God healed Roxli."

While the update is great news for the family, doctors caution that Roxli's long-term diagnosis has not changed and that the tumor will likely grow back.

The fact that the tumor is no longer visible on scans is remarkable, but DIPG remains a very aggressive and incurable form of cancer. Radiation usually stabilizes or shrinks the tumor and is the only course of treatment, and while doctors have labeled this case "extraordinary," they remain cautious about any long-term predictions.