HSA Urologist Dr Rafal Krupiniewicz is now offering a new treatment - used for the first time outside of the United States – for adult patients with a rare and difficult to treat form of kidney disease known as low-grade upper tract urothelial cancer (LG-UTUC).
The prescription medicine Jelmyto is the first and only US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment for LG-UTUC, a rare cancer that develops in the area where urine moves out of the kidney. Jelmyto was approved by the FDA in 2020 and Dr Krupiniewicz is the first physician outside of the US to offer the treatment.
Jelmyto is a combination of chemotherapy (mitomycin) and an innovative gel technology that is a liquid when chilled and turns into a gel at body temperature. “Unlike typical chemotherapy that goes everywhere in your body, Jelmyto is only applied in the affected kidney region where your tumors are,” Dr Krupiniewicz.
Once it arrives at the designated region, Jelmyto stays in place for up to 4 to 6 hours to kill cancer cells. The medication is administered through a thin flexible tube, called a catheter, once weekly for 6 weeks.
“Until now, kidney removal has been one of the standard methods of treating low-grade UTUC. The invasive surgery involved would often be accompanied by long hospital stays with potential complications and may have a major impact on overall health, including high blood pressure and heart disease,” said Dr Krupiniewicz. “Jelmyto, on the other hand, is a series of outpatient procedures that allows you to return home same day and is an effective, kidney-sparing option for patients.”
“Like all cancers, low-grade UTUC is a serious disease,” stated HSA Medical Director Dr Delroy Jefferson. “Without treatment, UTUC can cause significant health problems like permanent kidney damage. Therefore, the HSA is excited to be the first outside of the US to bring this option to patients in the Cayman Islands and improve their health and quality of life.”