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Home News and Update Year 2010 Opera Singer Gets Back Her Voice

Opera Singer Gets Back Her Voice

Times of India
24 September 2010
Bangalore, India

CyberKnife Surgery Performed On 14–Yr–Old Kenyan After She Was Diagnosed With Cancer
Hailing from a family of musicians in Kenya, 14–year–old Seraphine Moipel, quite understandably, dreamt of becoming one. She studied music, completed grade six and excelled in piano, flute and violin.

BACK WITH A BANG: Seraphine with her mother in Bangalore on Thursday BACK WITH A BANG: Seraphine with her mother in Bangalore on Thursday
Two–and–a–half years ago, her dreams were shattered as she lost her voice. She could no longer sing. She lost bowel control and her movements was hampered. Later, she was diagnosed with pineal gland tumour.

Then Bangalore’s famed CyberKnife treatment came to her rescue, and she has regained her voice and confidence back.

Recalling the trauma they underwent, her mother Christine Moipei said: "Seraphine is my fourth child. But, in 2006, she started losing her memory. She did not know what was happening to her and lost balance in movements. She lost vision in one of the eyes. After several consultations, a doctor in Kenya found she was suffering from pieneal gland tumour."

Once a good swimmer and hockey player, Seraphine couldn’t do anything. She put on 18 kg in less than nine months.

"She was confused, lost and couldn’t cope with daily life. It was then we were guided to Bangalore," Christine said. On studying her reports, a team of seven to eight doctors at HCG, led by chairman Dr B S Ajaikumar, put her through several tests. Based on the reports, the team concluded that Seraphine was suffering from pineal gland tumour.

Radiation oncologist Dr P S Sridhar said till date, only 12 cases of this tumour have been reported worldwide. The gland plays a vital role in ageing process, sexual functions and in secretion of melanin hormone. This tumour affects a person’s recognition capacity and leads to memory loss. "Such a case has come to us for the first time. The treatment involved four–and–a–half weeks of image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and two days of CyberKnife treatment with a week’s gap in between," he said.

Seraphine is now back to normal, but has to come for regular check–ups for the next two years. After going back to Kenya in May, she has participated in two state–level singing competitions — in August and September.

What Is Cyberknife? CyberKnife treatment is based on proven radiation technology. At first, the patient undergoes highresolution image CT scan to determine the exact location and size of the tumour.

The image of the scan is then transferred to the CyberKnife workstation, where a treatment plan is charted. MRI and PET scan are done and fused with the CT scan. The whole process is to determine dosage of the radiation and restrict exposure to neighbouring healthy tissues. Once the patient is settled, the CyberKnife robot targets the areas affected by cancer.

Each session lasts for 30–90 minutes, depending on the type and location of the tumour.

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