Care Close to Home
Network Supplies Comprehensive Treatment
Patient Miranda Benefield underwent a colonoscopy at Pen Bay Medical Center (PBMC) in Rockport. When her screening discovered a cancerous tumor, it was the start of a long journey back to health. Fortunately, that journey was eased by the seamless care provided by the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network. Miranda had surgery to remove the tumor at Maine Medical Center in Portland, worked with cancer care specialists at PBMC and Waldo County General Hospital to determine post-surgery treatment and received infusion therapy and chemotherapy treatments at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer in Augusta.
“It’s so important for people to know how important it is to receive care as close to home as possible when you’re battling cancer, and that MaineHealth Cancer Care Network provided that for me,” Miranda said. “It allowed me as a patient to focus on treatment and recovery.” Today, Miranda, a single mother of two, has finished treatments and has received a clean bill of health. “Early detection saved my life,” Miranda said.
Innovations in a Rural Setting
According to Peter Rubin, MD, medical oncologist with the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network, cancer patients often feel that to get state-of-the-art care, they need to travel to a major metropolitan area. One of the top priorities at MaineHealth is that care be provided as close to home as possible for patients, who must often travel for specialty care in Maine and New Hampshire.
The staff at Stephens Memorial Hospital was pleased to offer a cutting-edge treatment in Western Maine. The infusion team recently treated their first patient with an FDA-approved personalized immunotherapy proven to extend the life of men with a certain type of prostate cancer – a cancer which has spread to other areas of the body and is resistant to hormone deprivation therapy.
The treatment process included three personalized cycles using the patient’s own immune cells, which have been activated to empower his immune system to fight the cancer. A dedicated group comprised of Dr. Rubin, an oncology nurse practitioner, nurse navigator, infusion, and pharmacy team members worked tirelessly to develop the process to provide this unique medication at the rural site.
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