ORTHOPEDIC DOCTORS PARTNER WITH MWHC

Fredericksburg Orthopaedic Associates has partnered with Mary Washington Healthcare to form Mary Washington Orthopedics.

The practice focuses on various orthopedic injuries and disorders as well as sports medicine. Providers are: Kostas J. Constantine, Brian T. McDermott, Kenneth J. Accousti, David A. Zijerdi, Ali R. Hashemi, Wahid M. Baqaie and Michael F. Bowen.

Mary Washington Orthopedics has three locations in the area: 3310 Fall Hill Ave. in Fredericksburg, 4710 Spotsylvania Parkway in Spotsylvania County and 90 Greenspring Drive in Stafford County.

MASSEY CENTER OFFERS NEW IMMUNOTHERAPY

VCU Massey Cancer Center, in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Richmond, is certified to offer a new form of immunotherapy for children and young adults with lymphoblastic leukemia.

Called KYMRIAH, it’s an FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy made from a patient’s T-cells, which are a type of immune system cell. Last year, Massey became the first facility in Virginia to offer a similar therapy called YESCARTA, “and the addition is the latest effort to expand access to cutting-edge cellular immunotherapies,” according to a Massey press release.

As part of the therapy, T-cells are collected from the patient’s blood, genetically modified in a laboratory to recognize and attack cancer cells and then infused back into the patient. The treatment is approved for children and young adults up to 25 years old whose cancer has relapsed or has not responded to prior therapies.

“CAR T-cell therapies are one of the most groundbreaking developments in the history of cancer treatments. Many of the patients who are eligible for KYMRIAH have run out of treatment options, and so it gives us another tool to manage their disease,” said Dr. John McCarty, director of the Cellular Immunotherapies and Transplant Program at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

It also offers a chance at “lifesaving therapy for patients who previously had extremely poor prognosis,” even those who relapsed after stem cell transplants, said Dr. Christina Wiedl, director of the pediatric and young adult cellular therapy program at Children’s.

She said the two-year data is promising, with more than 60 percent of patients in remission at 24 months.

CAR T-cell therapies carry unique risks and may not be the best option for everyone. One of the most serious risks is an inflammatory response as they attack cancer cells, which can worsen and lead to neurological complications. That’s why the treatment typically is offered only at cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.

Plans are underway to offer even more cellular immunotherapies at Massey.

PROGRAM HELPS WOMEN WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE

An upcoming educational group aims to help pregnant and parenting women who are struggling with substance use disorder.

Project LINK will host “Nurturing Program for Families in Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery,” beginning July 2. The group will meet Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Ronald W. Branscome Building, 600 Jackson St., Fredericksburg. Lunch will be provided. Complimentary FRED bus tokens are available for women who need help with transportation.

The program will run through mid-October, with a graduation celebration on Oct. 15.

The program focuses on attachment, child development, parent-child relationships and recovery. The curriculum is included on SAMHSA’s national registry of evidence-based programs and practices.

“Project LINK helps women, children and families impacted by substance abuse,” said Glenda Knight, Project LINK manager. “It is exciting to see families grow stronger through participation in this program.”

Project LINK is federally funded and through the Federal Substance Abuse Block Grant. There is no cost to participate in the program.

For more information, contact Knight at 540/891-3132 or gknight@rappahannockareacsb.org.

CARDIOLOGIST LEAVES LOCAL PRACTICE

Dr. Anita Banerjee, who has practiced cardiology at Cardiology Associates of Fredericksburg for the last eight years, has left the practice. Her last day was Friday, Banerjee said in an email.

“I am moving my practice to Northern Virginia for family reasons,” she said. “I would like to thank each [patient] for the trust you placed in me over the years and the opportunity to take care of your cardiovascular health. I wish you the very best for your future cardiology care.”

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