Aussie girl with brain tumour 'cancer-free after overseas treatment'

The parents of an Australian girl diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour claim she's now cancer-free after travelling to Mexico for treatment.

The family of five-year-old Annabelle Nguyen was told she only had months to live so they went against medical advice in Australia to seek out experimental treatment overseas.

But doctors here have urged caution, saying it's unproven, expensive and risky.

Annabelle has spent a lot of time in hospitals. Source: 7 News
Annabelle has spent a lot of time in hospitals. Source: 7 News

Annabelle wasn't meant to live past her fourth birthday. She had a tumour lodged in her brain.

But on Sunday, doctors in Mexico told her parents scans show it's gone.

"I was just speechless, I couldn't say anything. I didn't cry, I didn't laugh I didn't do anything. I was like 'are you serious?'. It was unbelievable," Ms Nguyen said.

Perth doctors gave Annabelle nine months to live when she was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

Her family are overjoyed. Source: 7 News
Her family are overjoyed. Source: 7 News

Sandy and Choong Nguyen sold everything, including their home, to fly to Mexico, so Annabelle could undergo experimental cancer treatment.

Doctors in Monterrey injected her with a mix of chemotherapy drugs through a catheter inserted in an artery, which was sent to the brain tumour.

"There's no tumour, there's no activity in her brain at the moment. So we are very very thankful and very very happy," Ms Nguyen said.

Annabelle's tumour. Source: 7 News
Annabelle's tumour. Source: 7 News

The treatment isn't offered in most parts of the world, including Australia, because there are no studies to prove it works.

"Need to be cautious with these sorts treatments. Most times it ends badly," Dr Nick Gottardo said.

Annabelle had ten treatments at a cost of more than $300,000. Her parents say they didn't see any results until the seventh treatment.

It's not over yet for the family. They still have three months worth of follow up treatments in Mexico and a life-time of monitoring their little girl's health.

Annabelle's tumour is apparently all gone. Source: 7 News
Annabelle's tumour is apparently all gone. Source: 7 News
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