UK & World News
Boy With Giant Mole Gives Other Sufferers Hope
Doctors in London are hopeful that their treatment of a boy with a giant mole on his torso will help find a cure for the condition which afflicts dozens of newborn British babies.
Eight-year-old Didier Moltavo suffers from a rare skin condition called Congenital Melanocytic Nevus (CMN).
He was treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, where paediatric dermatologists first removed the 'shell' from his back in 2012.
Didier has now returned to Britain with help from Caring Matters Now, a charity which supports those affected by the condition.
"There is no treatment for it but sometimes surgery is used as in this case if you really have to do it to help moving around, but it is not a cure," Dr Veronica Kinsler, lead clinician in the paediatric dermatology department, told Sky's Stephen Dixon.
"The mole is coming back but the reason Didier has come is because we have research here to try and find a cure - a medical treatment for this."
Dr Kinsler said that over the last year researchers had found the cause of CMN.
She said around 30 babies are born each year in Britain with the condition as severe as Didier's.
Some 15% of severe sufferers are likely to die from melanoma, and reducing this is a key part of the programme.
With charity funding from Caring Matters Now, Didier is involved in a collaborative treatment programme between Great Ormond Street and the Beatson Institute in Glasgow.
"For the first time we have been able to reverse this feature (of CMN growth), after birth, with a medicine," Dr Kinsler said.
Researchers are still to publish their findings in a medical journal but promise the results "will be very exciting".
During his visit to Britain, Didier is meeting other children suffering from CMN - he has not met any in his home country - and is staying with a host family, whose son Mateus has the condition.
Didier's translator, Faryal Iqubal said: "Just before we came on TV, Didier said it was good to know it was not only he who has this scar."
Caring Matters Now chief executive Jodi Whitehouse understands how it affects sufferers - as she has the same condition.
"For the first 15 years of my life I had over 30 operations to try and remove the skin condition, as so little was known about it," she said.
"But Dr Kinsler came on board and it has been a life-saver - and has done amazing research - so we can seriously look at finding a lasting cure."
The initial research funding cost of £80,000 was provided by Caring Matters Now, after 18 people connected with the small charity raised funds by climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa.
Dr Kinsler has also managed to obtain secure funding to further the research project.