OMAHA, Neb. >> The 8-year-old cancer patient who became an Internet sensation for his touchdown run in Nebraska’s 2013 spring football scrimmage is now one of a handful of children enrolled in a cancer treatment trial.
Jack Hoffman is the fourth child enrolled in a clinical trial at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Boston Children’s Hospital, The Omaha World-Herald reported Saturday. He is one of 14 children in the world who have taken the medication, which is an adult cancer drug now being tested in children.
Jack’s family announced earlier this month that the boy’s brain cancer had returned after he had been declared in remission last October. The tumor is inoperable, doctors told his family.
The drug Jack is taking, like most cancer drugs, is toxic. In adults, the pills pose a secondary cancer risk — a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma — and could harm other organs, Dr. Mark Kieran, clinical director of the Brain Tumor Center at Dana-Farber, told the newspaper.
The medication targets the genetic mutation of the form of cancer that Jack has, said Andy Hoffman, Jack’s father.
Jack has been a familiar face to Huskers fans who have rallied around the “Team Jack” campaign to raised awareness and money for cancer research.
The rest of the nation got to know Jack from the April 6, 2013, spring game, after the coaching staff invited Jack to run a play in the fourth quarter. Wearing a miniature Husker uniform, he took a handoff from quarterback Taylor Martinez and scooted 69 yards to the end zone.
Players on both sidelines poured onto the field, followed him across the goal line and lifted him on their shoulders, to the delight of the crowd of 60,000.
Jack’s touchdown run won an ESPY Award for best sports moment of 2013. The video of the play has been replayed on national TV and viewed more than 8 million times on YouTube.