Vic superhero surgeons help girl beat odds

Surgeons have successfully removed two tumours from the base of Freyja Christiansen's skull.
Surgeons have successfully removed two tumours from the base of Freyja Christiansen's skull.

A six-year-old cancer patient has dubbed two Melbourne surgeons real-life superheroes after they removed tumours, initially considered inoperable, from the base of her skull.

Freyja Christiansen was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called clear-cell sarcoma in 2016 after specialists found two tumours positioned precariously close to a main artery at the base of her skull.

Despite being told the tumours were inoperable and that there was no possible cure, her mother Liz and oncologist Antoinette Anazondo began researching possible treatments overseas.

It was during a phone call to Boston Children's Hospital that the name of Melbourne cancer surgeon Ben Dixon came up, as he had previously used a robot called da Vinci to remove tumours from adults.

On February 28 Mr Dixon and fellow surgeon Matthew Magarey used the robot to successfully remove part of Freyja's tumour. A subsequent surgery on Wednesday removed the rest of the tumours.

"To say this is a huge success is an understatement," Liz Christiansen told AAP on Friday.

"To go from having discussions about palliative care ... to seeing her dancing today ... we have given hope to so many."

Freyja, a fan of the Justice League movies, has dubbed her surgeons Superman and Batman.

"She says it's like having her own real-life Justice League protecting her, with the robot that operated on her (as) Cyborg," Ms Christiansen said.

Freyja will continue immunotherapy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

Australian Associated Press