University of South Florida

Grateful Patient Series: Dr. Matthew Mifsud with Aubrey Romero

For most children, a loose tooth usually means a visit from the Tooth Fairy. But for Aubrey Romero of Parrish, it was a sign of something more serious, cancer.

Aubrey, 8,  had Odontogenic Ghost Cell Carcinoma, a very rare head and neck cancer. Less than 100 cases have been documented in the last 50 years and almost none involved children.

Matthew Mifsud, MD, a USF Health otolaryngologist, became Aubrey’s lead doctor in her treatment.

“In her case, it became a fast-growing mass in her upper jaw,” Dr. Mifsud said.

Renee Kellar with her eight-year-old daughter Aubrey Romero at their Parrish, Fla home.  Aubrey was treated by Matthew Mifsud, MD, for an Odontogenic Ghost Cell Carcinoma, a rare type of cancer. Aubrey is one of the very few identified in the pediatric population.

He knew major surgery to remove the softball-sized tumor was the only option to save Aubrey’s young life.

For Aubrey’s mother, Renée Kellar, “an infected molar turned out to be the worst news ever,” she said. “It was the hardest year of my life.”

Watch how Aubrey is doing now, more than a year after surgery.

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