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News | May 3, 2024

Pioneering Cancer Therapy: Unveiling New Possibilities in Military Health

By Kyle Lee Harvey

(May 1, 2024)— In the fight against aggressive lymphoma cancer, the Hematology/Oncology team at the Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center (ATAMMC), under the leadership of Dr. Pramvir Verma, introduced a pioneering solution - Epkinly, a monoclonal antibody anticancer medication used for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Unveiled at ATAMMC, a Department of Defense Hospital, it serves as a beacon of hope for patients who have not responded to previous treatments.

Epkinly proves to be a game-changer for patients with recurring cancer, as it provides a new path after multiple failed treatment attempts. The medication, although not without risks brings promise to those battling bloodborne lymphoma.

Dr. Verma reflects on the transformative impact of one particular patient using Epkinly, stating, "It's gratifying to witness her journey from infections and steady pain, to being able to complete daily tasks, lead bible study, and enjoy vacations. Our patient exhausted all treatment options, and we collaborated to change her life expectancy from less than 3 months to what we predict to be a normal life.”

This success story highlights the significance of adaptability in the field of oncology, emphasizing teamwork and safety.

Established in 2011, the ATAMMC Oncology Clinic addresses challenges with a diverse team of over 20 professionals, including a physician, Sheri Denison, a nurse practitioner, Kenneth Davis, a registered nurse Misty Copeland, and a clinical pharmacist, Jinyao Chen. Effective communication before the patient's arrival is crucial with such a large team, and staying on track is meticulously practiced with the use of a "Team STEPPS" model that promotes safe patient care through communication and teamwork principles.

“We are happy to be in the Washington D.C. area, where we constantly share knowledge and resources about cancer’, said Denison. “Many people look at Oncology as a sad place, but we are blessed to have a team that has and celebrates victories. We have far more tools, medications, and treatment options that didn’t exist even a few years ago.”

Regional cancer care embodies the collaborative efforts of healthcare professionals and allows for the sharing of knowledge and resources in cancer therapies and treatments, which in turn led to the introduction of Epkinly as a symbol of hope, innovation, and improved outcomes in cancer treatment.

“This groundbreaking medication”, said Verma, “represents innovation and epitomizes the relentless pursuit of enhancing outcomes for cancer patients at ATAMMC."

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