Come join us for this special event:
Raising Awareness: Targeting Multiple Myeloma. A Discussion for Patients and Caregivers.
Raising Awareness: Targeting Multiple Myeloma. A Discussion for Patients and Caregivers
August 30, 2018 at 6pm (Thursday)
Hunterdon Medical Center Auditorium
2100 Wescott Drive, Flemington NJ
For additional info or to rsvp please contact: Kellie Mozingo @ 908-788-6461 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Jersey Monthly: Jersey Choice Top Doctors 2017
Providing the highest-quality cancer care in a compassionate manner is a top priority of Dr. Myron Bednar. Board certified in medical oncology, hematology and internal medicine, he actively participates in cancer research trials and is committed to bringing patients new and innovative investigational treatments. Dr. Bednar is currently excited to participate in MATCH, a national clinical study in which cancer-fighting drugs are assigned based on
the specific mutations present in a patient’s tumors.
He offers a variety of options on-site, from radiation to infusion-based and oral chemotherapy, as well as immune-based therapy, which stimulates a patient’s immune system to attack cancer cells. READ MORE
Had it not been for his wife, Denise, 53-year-old Arthur Quinby may have never gotten a colonoscopy. However, he had been passing blood, and Denise, a nurse, convinced him to make an appointment. Arthur decided to be examined at his local hospital, Hunterdon Medical Center. The retired Air Force senior master sergeant felt no need to go elsewhere.
The results of the colonoscopy showed Arthur had colon cancer. “At that point, I just followed the recommendation of my doctors and put my trust in them,” he said. “At Hunterdon Medical Center, I had a colon resection which demonstrated Stage III disease and afterwards went to Kenneth Blankstein, MD, a medical oncologist at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center, for chemotherapy.”
In further studying Arthur’s scans, Dr. Blankstein found lesions on Arthur’s liver and immediately scheduled a PET scan. These results showed the lesions were malignant—the cancer had spread. For the next six months, Arthur underwent chemotherapy. He responded well to treatment right from the start, and his lesions had shrunk significantly. However, Dr. Blankstein felt certain they would return and referred Arthur to Fox Chase Cancer Center.
At Fox Chase, Arthur benefited from an experienced team of surgical oncologists: Andreas Karachristos, MD, FACS, Jeffrey Farma, MD, FACS, and John Hoffman, MD, FACS. “Their plan of attack was to wipe out three sections on the left lobe of my liver. They did that through minimally invasive surgery,” explained Arthur. “Once they knew I responded positively, I had another surgery to remove the right lobe. They did the math and felt that would give me the best chance of survival.”
In the meantime, however, scar tissue had formed in Arthur’s colon. In between his two liver surgeries, he required a colostomy due to narrowing in his colon. After the surgeries were complete, Arthur then underwent an additional six months of chemotherapy and finally had his ostomy reversed. “It was a long road, and recovery took about a month,” said Arthur, who has since returned to work as a service manager for a construction equipment dealership. “I’m thrilled to return to my hobby of drag racing my two Ford Mustangs,” he added.
Arthur continues his follow-up appointments at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. His oncologists at both continue to share records and communicate regarding his care. “Their communication is fantastic,” noted Arthur, who is now cancer-free. “Throughout this whole time, I must say my wife took very good care of me. She got me to get that colonoscopy in the first place.”
Learn more at
Are insurance policies saving patients money, or keeping them from the treatment they need?
By BOB TEDESCHI | AUGUST 22, 2016
…Dr. Kenneth B. Blankstein, an oncologist in Flemington, N.J., is treating a woman for lung cancer. She responded well to the first chemotherapy drugs he prescribed. When her health was stable, he gave her a “temporary break” from chemo to spare her some of its side effects.
But when he tried to return her to the treatment, the insurer balked, saying that the “temporary break” was evidence that the treatment had failed. Despite Blankstein’s protests, the insurer said she would have to move next to Tarceva, another treatment.
“She had under a 5 percent chance of a response on Tarceva,” he said. “Yet they insisted, so we had to.”
As Blankstein expected, the patient did not respond, but instead of letting her return to the first chemo cocktail, the insurer insisted she try another drug first.
The patient ultimately switched to Medicare, which covered the first chemotherapy protocol. Her health is stable.
“The patient’s being told to use a drug we know isn’t going to work, but we have to use it anyway for someone with terminal illness? To me that’s just insane, but it’s the way they do things,” Blankstein said. “It’s taken away clinical judgment. It’s managing by algorithms.” READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center: The Only Cancer Center in New Jersey to Offer Immuno-Therapy Clinical Trial for Lung Cancer
Published June 9, 2014
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer among men and women and the leading cause of death in the United States. In 2014, it is estimated that 224,210 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center was selected as the only cancer facility in New Jersey to offer a clinical study on a new lung cancer investigational drug called Nivolumab, which is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
“This clinical study uses immuno-therapy as a new approach for treating lung cancer. This therapy uses the patient’s own immune system to attack the cancer cells,” stated Myron Bednar, M.D., Medical Oncologist, Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. Dr. Bednar further explained, “Nivolumab works by blocking the protein called PD-1. The PD-1 antibodies stop lung cancer cells from blocking the body’s natural immune response to cancer. A drug that can inhibit PD-1 may be able to treat a variety of cancers, which is very exciting.”
Patients who may be eligible for the study have been diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer and have undergone at least one therapy prior to entering this trial. “The benefit from standard therapy is limited for this patient population. Our hope is that this drug will keep the cancer from growing and have the patient’s immune system do the work of killing the cancer cells, versus drugs that may have many side effects, said Kenneth Blankstein, Medical Oncologist at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. Dr. Blankstein also mentioned, “We are pleased to be able to provide this trial in our community. We are not only the only cancer facility in New Jersey testing this drug in a clinical trial, but the only one in the tri-state area. The next closest facility is in Tennessee.”
Daria Shepherd of Kingwood Township was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer in December. Ms. Shepherd had gone to her family doctor because of a pain she was having on her side. An ultrasound showed that the pain was the result of a cyst on her ovary, but the test also found a spot on her lung. A chest scan and a biopsy determined it was cancer. “I started chemotherapy, but it wasn’t effective for my type of cancer, so Dr. Bednar thought I would be an ideal candidate for the Nivolumab clinical trial,” stated Ms. Shepherd. Shepherd added, “This is my second week receiving the drug and I feel good, it has not had any side effects that have interfered with my life.” In fact, Ms. Shepherd was heading out to Spruce Run to fish with her family after her treatment.
Through Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center’s partnership with Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, physicians have access to many clinical research trials, which are administered by specially trained staff. Current trials offered at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center include new treatment protocols for lung cancer, breast, gastrointestinal cancers, as well as lymphoma and melanoma. To learn more about clinical trials at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center, call Kathy Robbins, RN, MSN, OCN, Clinical Research Nurse at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center at 908-237-2330 ext. 2 or visit www.hunterdonhealthcare.org/clinicalresearch .
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center Helps a Young Woman Go From Cancer Patient to Bride.
At the age of 22, Ashley McRoy was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and given a 20 percent chance of survival. Doctors at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center made sure she made it to her wedding day — and beyond.
It was a joyous, teary-eyed day at Kleinfeld, the famous New York City bridal boutique and setting for TLC’s hit show, “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Bride-to-be Ashley McRoy, 28, radiated grace in her sleek white gown. Even her father, Jerry, the group’s harshest critic, glowed. Trying on wedding dresses is a dream come true for most women; but for Ashley and a team of Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center doctors and nurses, this made-for-TV moment represented so much more.
That’s because Ashley has now been cancer-free for 18 months, and she credits Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center with her recovery from a rare and deadly form of cancer.
Seven years ago, Ashley was attending Raritan Valley Community College. She was also just starting her modeling career when she felt a hard knot by her belly button. Two weeks later, the knot had grown bigger. Ashley’s mother, Louise, called the fam¬ily doctor, which led to a CT scan and the shocking news: Ashley had stage 4 signet cell adenocarcinoma in her colon.
“The cancer was incredibly rare and high risk,” says Myron Bednar, M.D., Medical Oncologist and Director of Clinical Trials at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. Ashley was given a 20 percent survival rate.
“Her type of colon cancer wasn’t typical,” explains Dr. Bednar. “This one featured more aggressive cells.”
Hunterdon Healthcare staff began treatment right away. Cancerous tumors were removed from Ashley’s colon and abdominal cavity. After the surgery, she utilized Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center’s considerable resources.
“She benefited from our social services to help her cope, though she did a great job on her own,” Dr. Bednar says. “She worked with a dietitian for nutritional help while going through biological therapy, and she got state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radia¬tion treatments.”
It was a long journey: The cancer recurred in October of 2012, and had spread to part of her kidneys. She needed a second surgery, and then returned to Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center for follow-up care.
After a final round of chemotherapy and radiation, Ashley at last received the news she longed to hear: the cancer was gone. Today, with cancer behind her, the Wilhelmina-represented model and graphic designer is continuing to model, and wants to share her story with others.
Most importantly, she wants to savor life, starting with her April 5 marriage to boyfriend James Disney, who was constantly by her side throughout treatment. In fact, Ashley was featured on “Say Yes to the Dress” in part be¬cause of her incredible cancer recovery.
“I’ve been so incredibly blessed,” she says. “I want to move forward, to look at life more positively. I’m learning to see the glass as half-full.
“Everyone at the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center treated me amazingly,” she adds. “They are my family.” In fact, Dr. Bednar, along with gastroenterologist Samuel Bae, M.D., and surgeon John Bello, M.D., were invited to Ashley’s wedding.
“James and I have been through a lot,” Ashley jokes. “We can survive being married!”
CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR RISK FOR CANCER? Learn more about the Family Risk Assessment Program (FRAP) at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center by calling 908.237.2330.