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Donations flood in for Somerset musician fighting aggressive form of cancer – Weston & Somerset Mercury (registration)

Posted: June 25, 2017 at 3:41 am

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 June 2017

Sheridan Robins

Stephen and his girlfriend.


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Stephen Sykes has Hodgkins lymphoma, which attacks the immune system.

Following some seemingly swollen glands, and a series of trips to the doctors, Stephen was referred to an oncologist, who confirmed his worst fear.

Stephen, who plays for Burnham and Highbridge Band, has undergone chemotherapy since February 2015 which his mum says has not touched it.

Joanne Sykes told the Mercury: He has had six lots of chemotherapy and some were more successful than others. They then realised the chemo was not touching it.

At first they thought he was stage two but they soon saw he was actually stage four.

He even had 40 hours of chemo at one stage. But the cancer continued to grow through it.

They then discovered he needed a stem cell transplant as the cancer cells have become very clever.

The PD1 Blocker drug can help Stephen as it activates the immune system to attack tumours. However, it is not available on the NHS.

He needs to use it for one year and it costs 7,000 a month to provide him with enough medication.

His mum Joanne set a 90,000 target to ensure the costs were covered.

This target was met in just 24 days, and Stephen is now feeling slightly better, but he will not recover until a stem cell donor is found.

As well as fundraising, Joanne has encouraged people to join the stem cell donor list due to the difficulty they have faced in finding a suitable match.

Joanne said: This fundraising has given me something to focus on and people have been incredible.

It has been a really tough few years, but he is now the most well he has been in 18 months.

We have a long way to go, but it is so nice for him to have this period of feeling a bit better.

The idea is he will be well enough for the stem cell transplant.

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Riverside Health System cancer figures show strides, challenges – Daily Press

Posted: at 3:40 am

Cancer patients in Hampton Roads are battling the same cancers that are most common nationwide breast, colon, lung and prostate according to a report released this month by Riverside Health System.

The four cancers represent roughly 65 percent of all cancers treated by the health care system, which has facilities from Tappahannock to Virginia Beach, and several locations in Hampton and Newport News, the 2016 Cancer Care Annual Report shows.

Riverside first developed the cancer report as part of its process to be accredited for its cancer care and produces annually with figures on cancer patients, new technologies, survivor stories as well as information on fundraising to help with treatment costs, said Jennifer Brown, who works with Virginia Cancer Registry at Riverside and its Institutional Review Board.

“We use (the annual report) to see trends and share with the community the work we’re doing,” Brown said this week. For someone with a recent diagnosis, the report outlines treatments for different cancers and shows a history of cancer care in Hampton Roads, she added.

According to the report, 2,639 people were diagnosed or received initial cancer care at a Riverside facility in 2015, more than double the 1,242 diagnosed in 2005. These figures do not include people diagnosed or treated at other health facilities in the region the report focuses on care Riverside provided.

The region saw a marked increase in breast cancer, with a 54 percent increase in cases from 2005 to 2015, the report showed. Cases of breast cancer were the highest across all primary sites. Prostate and lung cases also rose sharply since 2005, the health system reports.

Riverside’s report also highlights advances in cancer treatment, including brachytherapy, where doctors hone in on cancer, implanting high radiation doses directly into the tissue, making treatment faster and more comfortable than traditional radiation.

“Our new brachytherapy offerings are a perfect example of such innovations, complementing our other radiation oncology offerings that give people the treatment they need with minimal impact to their busy daily lives,” said Ruth Van Davelaar, director at Riverside Health System Radiation Oncology.

Brachytherapy has been used on colorectal but can also be beneficial for endometrial, cervical and other cancers, Riverside officials said in a news release.

The hospital system also uses targeted linear accelerator technology, which is used to treat cancer all over the body by delivering high-energy x-rays or electrons to an area where tumors are located. The region’s hospitals use another advanced cancer treatment for brain and blood vessel tumors, the Gamma Knife, and celebrated the therapy’s use over the last decade in the report.

The report describes how genetic testing can help families with histories of cancer find out more about their risks and take action. Riverside genetic counselor Deena Wahba said an example would be a 42-year-old woman referred to genetic counseling after a breast cancer diagnosis.

“I would recommend that her female relatives begin breast screenings at 32 10 years earlier than the youngest diagnosis of breast cancer in the family,” Wahba said.

Health officials in the region aim to get 80 percent of those eligible for colorectal cancer screenings tested by 2018. Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum in the lower end of the digestive tract, is the third most-diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Early detection and messaging has become more important over the years,” said Fran Holcomb, a Riverside cancer education and outreach nurse. In the late ’80s, Riverside was one of the first in the community to encourage people to get tested, which can find cancers sooner and mean better outcomes, Holcomb said.

Earlier this month, Riverside hosted a “Day of Giving,” event to raise funds for its Therapeutic and Supportive Services for cancer patients and survivors. Programs are not just for low-income people but help all patients, said Pat Emerson, a medical oncology practice director.

“I think the hardest things is that those of use who are gainfully employed and not fighting cancer really don’t know the challenges some folks have just trying to get the care they need,” Emerson said in the report.

Canty can be reached by phone at 757-247-4832.

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Community rallying around 36-year-old diagnosed with cancer on day her husband died – Press

Posted: at 3:40 am

Before JohnSylvester lost his battle to ALS, his young sons used to ask, Why cant the doctors help daddy?

Now, as Sylvesters wife prepares to sit down with her 5- and 6-year-old sons, and tell them she was just diagnosed with cancer, she wants to say to them, I am sick, but the doctors can help.They couldnt help daddy, but they can help me.

Tessie Sylvester, 36, hopes that message gives her sons some comfort.

It was June 16, the day that 44-year-old John Sylvester died, that Tessie found out about her diagnosis.

As I was calling the funeral home to tell them that John had passed, the doctor called me on the other line and said the biopsy had come back and it was cancer, said Tessie Sylvester, of West St. Paul. The cancerhasmetastasized to Sylvesters liver and lymph nodes and, as a result, surgery is not an option.

Since then, Sylvesters sister set up a GoFundMe site, calling it the Sylvester Joy and Sunshine Fund, to raise money because Tessie is self-insured and now a single parent; she wont be able to work during cancer treatment.

Tessie Sylvesters story has been receiving national and international media attention. She said shes been humbled by and grateful for all the people who have been supporting her.

I havent tried to dwell on why is this happening, Tessie Sylvester said Saturday. Ive tried to stay away from that. Ive tried to keep hoping for whatever the best is. Ive been getting flooded with messages from people I know and complete strangers with encouragement and saying, Ive been there before and it will be OK or Praying for you.

John Sylvester was an amazing man and dad, saidTessie Sylvester, whod been married to him since 2004. They met when they were coaching little kids in soccer in Woodbury.

Soccers always been my passion and Johns passion, she said. We both played growing up and through college and John continued to coach.

John Sylvester played for the Minnesota Thunder in the 1990s and was girls coaching director for the Minneapolis United Soccer Club. He continued coaching after he was diagnosed six years ago with ALS, until he felt like he couldnt do it anymore, his wife said.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrigs disease,is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

John was great as a dad, Tessie Sylvester said. He wished he could do more with them because, by the time Freddy (age 5) was born, John had lost use of his hands pretty much.

But everything that he could do with the boys, he did. He went everywhere with his family and the boys loved climbing into their fathers chair and snuggling up to watch movies.

Over the winter, John got a tattoo on each of his arms: one said Gus, his sons birthdate and My life and my joy; the other said, Freddy, his sons birthdate and My world and my sunshine.

John loved those two, still does, said Tessie Sylvester. Loved those two more than anything.

At the end of May,TessieSylvester went for a routine physical and said her bloodwork came back a little abnormal, though she was feeling fine.

She was referred to an endocrinologist, who she saw on June 12, which was a Monday.

She reconfirmed the blood test and had me come back the next for an ultrasound, Sylvester said. I came back the next day for a CT and MRI. I came back the next day for a biopsy. It was that Friday when the doctor called to tell her she has adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that forms in mucus-secreting glands throughout the body.

Doctors are still trying to determine where the cancer originated. She is scheduled to start chemotherapy on Tuesday.

Sylvester worked hard to obtain an academic scholarship to the University of St. Thomas and went on to dental school, her sister said. Shespent years working at a free dental clinic in St. Paul serving homeless and marginalized people, and in recent years has juggled motherhood, caring for John, and working at West St. Paul Family Dentistry, her sister wrote on the fundraising site.

Since JohnSylvester died, the hardest times have been at night, Tessie Sylvester said.

When we lay down and Im holding the boys,then theyll usually start getting really sad about missing daddy, she said.

Sylvester is one of six siblings and five of them live in West St. Paul, as do her parents.

One thing I know for sure is I would not be standing here today if it were not for my family stepping in, she said. She said all the community support has also been carrying us through this, along with her two sons keeping her busy.

They dont really let me slow down, she said with a laugh. I think thats been actually a really good thing, too, because I havent had much time to just stop and think.

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R&B Singer Keke Wyatt Reveals She Will Shave Her Head to Support Her Child Battling Cancer –

Posted: at 3:40 am

R&B singer Keke Wyatt revealed her child is fighting cancer on Saturday, and she will shave her head in solidarity live on Instagram.

Plz pray for my family Havent really said to [sic] much about my personal life, But my child has been fighting cancer and lost all of their hair that they loved. It hurts me so bad. So to show Mommys support Im going to get @keever_west to shave me bald today , she began her post.

Wyatt then urged her fans to donate and pray for a complete healing for her child.

I need a complete healing for my baby If u want to donate plz go to Prayers work best for Us!!!, she said in her caption.

Wyatt, who starred in R&B Divas: Atlanta, has discussed her passion for hair before.

I love doing hair. Im a hair freak, she confessed to ESSENCE. I just love how it feels on my fingertips.

In April, Wyatt shared happy family news, announcing she was expecting her ninth child with husband Michael Ford. She has three children from her previous marriage to Rahmat Morton, and the newest addition will be her fifth child with Ford. Shes also the stepmother to a child from Fords previous relationship.

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5th annual Dragon Boat Festival empowers cancer survivors –

Posted: at 3:40 am

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) Dozens of rowers dressed up in costume, decorated their canoes, and paddled their way to finish the line on the Connecticut River Saturday.

18 teams competed in the 5th annual Dragon Boat Festival, at the North Riverfront Park in Springfield Saturday.

The annual event raises money for the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, which promotes water recreation for the greater Springfield area.

While rowing is just a fun way to stay in shape for some of the competitors, for women like Judy Kennedy, its a reminder of how strong she is physically, and mentally. To be a dragon ray, to strengthen my body because Im a cancer survivor, but its strengthening my mind also. And the friendship you create with these women, these strong women is amazing, Kennedy said.

Dragon Boat Racing has become increasingly popular among cancer survivors in recent years.

Ellen Schell of New York told 22News, the paddling motion can help women strengthen their bodies following cancer treatment. This is a way for those of us who have gone through breast cancer to do some exercise thats good for us, its good for our upper body, Schell said.

Laurie Campbell of East Longmeadow said the dragon boat race is about much more than just getting in a canoe, and paddling down a river. Its about overcoming obstacles, and inspiring others. To see how sometimes our fellow travelers who are in treatment for breast cancer, how they improve in strength, improve in confidence, and watching that is just fantastic, Campbell said.

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Teen Cancer Patient Fighting for Her Life, is Asking for Help in Meeting Justin Bieber – FOX40

Posted: at 3:40 am

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Marissa Satiro, a big believer in miracles, has been fighting for her life for over two years, reports FOX40 sister station WTIC.

Ive never dealt with cancer in my family so I was in shock. I knew kids could get it, but just to come out of nowhere to be stage four already in weeks it was just heartbreaking, said Marissa’s mom, Michelle Satiro, about her daughters surprising diagnosis.

Marissa was told by doctors at age 13 she had Osteosarcoma and that the cancer was stage four.

Her family has been in awe of her ability to stay strong through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, a major surgery to remove a tumor, and more surgery to try and get the cancer out of her lungs.

Shes amazing,” Michelle Satiro said. “Shes a fighter were all so proud of her, because shes always smiling no matter what we do, the treatments, whatever we go through she has a smile on her face.”

Marissas smile was challenged, however, just moments before she was going to attend prom.

It was a brain tumor and what had happened is it had ruptured in her head while she was trying to get her pictures taken,” Michelle Satiro explained. “So, it was filling up with the blood and the fluid and thats what created her whole right side to not work.

Her family has now turned to the internet to try and keep Marissas positive spirits going. They set up a GoFundMe page to help her complete her bucket list.

Going down to Florida again to see her family, swim with the dolphins, she never got to swim with the dolphins so thats one of her things she wants to do, Michelle Satiro said about some of her bucket list items.

Topping that list, however, is to meet the Justin Bieber. Marissa said his music is a big part of what helped her get through some of her toughest moments and treatments.

When she gets her treatments done or when she gets ports access and things like that we used to play his songs just to keep her mind off of it or when she goes into like the MRI machines, Marissas mom explained.

She said meeting him would be a dream her daughter so deserves.

Looking into her daughter’s eyes, Michelle Satiro said, Shes so strong. I tell her all the time she has definitely been our hero.”

Marissas strength is forging on, through what may be just a short amount of time left to get those bucket list items checked off.

If Marissa didnt choose any treatment, she would maybe make it to her 16th birthday, which is August, Michelle Satiro said.

Marissa is planning to try a few more treatments her doctors hope will give her a few months longer with her family.

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New Oncology Launch Study Probes the Investment and Staffing Levels Needed to Successfully Launch a Cancer … – PR Newswire (press release)

Posted: June 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Research and consulting leader Best Practices, LLC undertook a primary research project to provide oncology leaders with current staffing and investment benchmarks for launch-related activities and functions for new oncology products. This study will help marketing and brand leaders identify staffing and investment priorities across pre-launch, launch and post-launch activities for oncology products.

According to the new study, market opportunity assessment is a critical parameter affecting overall budget sizes. Peak Year Sales Forecast (PYSF) is the metric that most clearly reflects market opportunity. In turn, market entry budgets correlate with overall opportunity.

For instance, the study found that Peak Year Sales Forecast appears to have the strongest influence on total launch investment for preparing a new oncology product for market entry. For launch year, a new product with a PYSF of less than $750 million had a mean total spend of $8.9 million compared with $54.3 million on average for a product with a PYSF of $750 million to $2 billion.

The new study, “What it Takes to Successfully Launch an Oncology Product in the U.S. Marketplace,” will inform oncology launch teams with evidence-based benchmarks around investment, staffing and timing requirements needed to successfully launch new oncology drugs in the U.S. market.

For this study, Best Practices, LLC probed oncology product investment levels for 12 companies and 20 U.S. project launches.

Some of the topics addressed in the 148-page study include:

This new report benchmarks investment levels at each launch stage as well as budget and staffing allocation across critical medical and commercial activities for various market-entry situations or market-entry archetypes: portfolios featuring multiple molecules which treat single or multiple indications, and portfolios using single molecules to treat individual cancer types.


Best Practices, LLC is a leading benchmarking, consulting and advisory services firm serving biopharmaceutical and medical device companies worldwide. Best Practices, LLC’s clients include all the top 10 and 48 of the top 50 global healthcare companies. The firm conducts primary research and consulting using its comprehensive proprietary benchmarking tools and analysis. The operational insights, findings and analysis form the basis for our Benchmarking Reports, databases and advisory services to support executives in commercial and R&D operations.

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SOURCE Best Practices, LLC

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What To Expect From Clovis Oncology Following Rubraca Approval – Benzinga

Posted: at 8:44 pm

Clovis Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: CLVS) investors certainly have reason to be excited about the potential of the companys Rubraca cancer treatment drug. However, Oppenheimer analyst Leah Cann isnt quite so excited about Clovis stock at its current price. On Thursday, Oppenheimer initiated coverage of Clovis with a Perform rating.

Clovis shares are up an incredible 607 percent in the past year, including a 57 percent gain since June 15. The market enthusiasm came after the company reported positive late-stage data on Rubraca.

The DNA-damage repair inhibitor drug class is an exciting new area of exploration in the biotech world, Cann said. Rubraca receives accelerated approval from the FDA back in December for treatment of third-line, BRCA mutant positive ovarian cancer, but it is also currently being tested for potential treatment of other ovarian, breast and prostate cancers as well.

Related Link: Deutsche Bank’s Take On Big Pharma: 3 Buys And A Hold

While the drugs potential is huge, Clovis shares already reflect a reasonable valuation for Rubraca, Cann said. Oppenheimer estimates that Clovis will be able to ride the Rubraca wave to 67.3 percent compound annual revenue growth over the next four years, reaching $691.6 million by 2021.

Using our 2021 estimated revenue of $691.6 million, and applying the average forward price-to-sales of the biotechnology sector of 12.5x, then discounting our estimated revenue for risk of failure, we arrive at a value for Clovis that is in the range of the current stock price, Cann wrote.

Cann expects Clovis to turn its first profit in 2018 and reach $4.97 in annual EPS by 2021.

At last check, shares of Clovis were down 4.2 percent at $92.71.

View More Analyst Ratings for CLVS View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Biotech News Initiation FDA Analyst Ratings Movers General Best of Benzinga

2017 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The US Oncology Network Hosts Second Annual Boot Camp … – Business Wire (press release)

Posted: at 8:44 pm

THE WOODLANDS, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The US Oncology Network (The Network) hosted its second annual boot camp last month in Dallas, focusing on various value-based care delivery and reimbursement models. The intensive two-day workshop brought together more than 100 key stakeholders and thought leaders in value-based care, including physicians, clinical staff, quality leads, and executive leaders from The US Oncology Network affiliated practices across the nation. Participants shared best practices and lessons learned from participation in emerging payment models, with a focus on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations Oncology Care Model, the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and other alternative value-based programs. The special seminar was a collaborative effort of The US Oncology Network and McKesson Specialty Health.

Value-based care is no longer an initiative of the future, it is here today, said Marcus Neubauer, MD, vice president and medical director, Payer and Clinical Services, McKesson Specialty Health and The US Oncology Network. Our boot camps enable us to collaborate and share insights and knowledge that The Network affiliated practices have gained. As practices undergo the major transformation required to accommodate this new way of delivering care, we will continue to develop innovative solutions that enable them to succeed in this transition while keeping patient care their number one priority.

Seminar attendees heard presentations from their peers and McKesson Specialty Health thought leaders on topics aimed at providing practical information to help practices prosperincluding how to lead change while managing daily operations and interactive discussions on how care team huddles can raise quality of care and staff engagement. Speakers gave updates on technology enhancements and practice tools, legislative activities and the future political outlook, as well as an overview of upcoming developments in The Network. Breakout sessions also provided attendees with more intimate collaboration opportunities, focusing on such critical issues as managing care for patients on oral therapies, establishing care team centered patient navigation, 24/7 care, enhanced patient services, data sharing and goal setting, and more.

The boot camp illustrates our strong commitment to support community-based practices as they embrace value-based care initiatives such as the Oncology Care Model and MIPS, said Diana Verrilli, senior vice president, Payer and Practice Management Solutions, McKesson Specialty Health. As industry leaders in value-based care, we are dedicated to providing The Network with a wide range of comprehensive, proven solutions that support the critical components necessary to build and maintain a strong viable practice in the new value-based environment.

The US Oncology Network, supported by McKesson Specialty Health, is leading the way in value-based care, developing the innovative technologies, resources and proficiency required to empower independent oncology practices to thrive in the changing healthcare landscape. With more than 1,400 physicians delivering care in over 400 community-based treatment sites, The Network has substantial experience with alternative payment models and is continually striving to enhance its solutions that address these new care delivery and reimbursement programs. The boot camp is just one of many opportunities The US Oncology Network provides for its affiliated practices to collaborate and come together to share knowledge, resources and expertise, enabling all members of The Network to succeed together.

About The US Oncology Network

Every day, The US Oncology Network helps more than 1,400 independent physicians deliver value-based, integrated care for patients close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The Network provides doctors with access to coordinated resources, best business practices, and the experience, infrastructure and support of McKesson Specialty Health. This collaboration allows the doctors in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. Together, The Network and its affiliated physicians are committed to the success of independent practices, everywhere. For more information, visit

About McKesson Specialty Health

McKesson Specialty Health, a division of McKesson Corporation, works together with stakeholders across the healthcare delivery system to preserve and strengthen specialty care, passionately driven by the benefits it provides patients and the system as a whole. Through innovative provider, practice management, manufacturer and payer solutions, McKesson Specialty Health focuses on improving the financial, operational and business health of our customers and partners so they may provide the best care to patients. At McKesson Specialty Health, we believe that we are all in this together. For more information, visit

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