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Doctors believed Brandon's tumor may have been a neuroblastoma that committed cellular suicide -- an action some cancer treatments try to produce. But because a biopsy was never done, it was also possible that the lump was another type of tumor that regressed, said Dr. Katherine Matthay, a pediatric oncologist at the university.
There are different reasons some patients mysteriously get better. Sometimes, it has to do with the biology of the disease. Other times, a patient may belong to the lucky 1 percent of the population who respond to treatment.