Vol. 8 No. 1
March 1998

Insuring Quality Community Healthcare

Winthrop's Advance Directive Initiative

The Winthrop South Nassau University Health System Opens Homecare*America Superstore in Mineola

Winthrop Welcomes Three New Directors

Winthrop Opens a Second, Fully Monitored Neurosurgical Intermediate Care Unit

Winthrop's $12 Million New Life Center is on Track for July, l998

Winthrop's Long Island Regional Poison Control Center Observes Fifth Anniversary of Averting Danger, Saving Lives

Patient Unit is Dedicated to the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Long Island's First Dual Chamber Defibrillator is Implanted in Winthrop's Electrophysiology Lab

Report from The Heart Institute at Winthrop: Third Cardiac Catheterization Lab is Authorized by State Department of Health

Winthrop's Artificial Heart Device Program: A Revolutionary Treatment for End-Stage Heart Disease Patients

Winthrop's Dialysis Centers Receive National Award for Patient Encouragement - One of Only Six Programs in the United States to be Recognized

Endoscopic Ultrasound: On The Forefront of Technology

Long Island Chapter of Impotents Anonymous Meets at Winthrop, Filling an Intimate Need ---Confidentially

Winthrop's Stem Cell Autologous Transplantation Therapy Program Saves a Life - And Can Save More!

Winthrop Adds Powerful New Radiological Intervention

Winthrop Auxilians Donate Service, Talent, and Creative Fundraising

Winthrop's Division of Reproductive Medicine Makes Parenthood Possible

Dialysis is technology...but caring is an art.

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Patients suffering from breast, ovarian, or testicular cancer, Hodgkins disease, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, or multiple myeloma may be candidates for lifesaving Stem Cell Therapy at Winthrop - soon to be available as an outpatient procedure.

Juliette (not her real name), age 37, was dying. She was in Stage IV - the final stage - of metastasized breast cancer. The disease had already spread to her liver and bones, necessitating a left hip replacement, and her prognosis was very poor.

Juliette's oncologist suggested that she undergo Stem Cell Autologous Transplantation Therapy at Winthrop. Although initially hesitant, she finally agreed.

Today, Juliette is in full remission, and has returned to work.

Juliette's outcome is a success story, and Winthrop is equipped to provide the same therapy to other appropriate patients - anytime the need arises. According to Jeffrey Schneider, MD, Attending Oncologist-Hematologist with the Division of Oncology-Hematology, Winthrop can administer Stem Cell Autologous Transplantation Therapy to several patients per month.

"No one can declare a patient to be completely cured of cancer," cautions Harry Staszewski, MD, Director of Hematology Services, Division of Oncology-Hematology. "Nevertheless, Juliette is in full remission, living with the hope that a cure for breast cancer may be discovered during her lifetime."

The availability of Stem Cell Autologous Transplantation Therapy at Winthrop eliminates travel, and in the foreseeable future, the three to four week program will be available to clinically appropriate patients on an outpatient basis.

Dr. Schneider explains that just as chemotherapy reduces a malignancy, it simultaneously damages the body's healthy cells - including the bone marrow stem cells - which give rise to normal circulating blood cells. The stem cells arise from the body's largest, densest bones - the sternum, hip bones, skull, and tibia, among others. Bone marrow damage is unavoidable due to the toxicity of chemotherapy, which diminishes the production of new, healthy stem cells.

Leslie Matthews, RN, MS, NP, AOCN, Oncology Nurse Coordinator (L) and Jeffrey G. Schneider, MD (R), Attending Oncologist-Hematologist, both with Winthrop's Oncology-Hematology Division, display the Cobe Spectra Unit, used for the peripheral blood stem cell harvest. This sophisticated piece of equipment is an integral component of Winthrop's Stem Cell Autologous Transplantation Therapy Program.
In Juliette's treatment, an innovative "harvesting" procedure enabled the Winthrop oncologists to "recruit" her stem cells directly from the bone marrow to the blood, where they were collected by a specialized filtration process known as "leukapheresis." Next, her stem cells were frozen, or cryopreserved, in a solvent which enabled the maintenance of their viability during the freezing and subsequent thawing processes.

After leukapheresis, Juliette underwent chemotherapy with dosages up to 40 times the intensity normally tolerable -with greater frequency, and in unique combinations of drugs that would have been physically insupportable previously.

Meanwhile, her stem cells remained healthy - free of the effects of chemotherapy - safely preserved within the protected environment of a laboratory freezer. Once the chemotherapy was concluded, her cryopreserved cells were thawed and reinfused into her body, where they soon produced healthy, disease-free bone marrow, stimulating the production of healthy blood cells. Through Stem Cell Autologous Transplantation, Juliette's normal blood count was soon restored.

Do you know someone who might be helped through Winthrop's Stem Cell Program? Please call Winthrop's Oncology-Hematology Division at 516/663-2310.

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