Jean Conlan Rosenfeld teaches early childhood and elementary school students everything from anthropology to astrophysics - through a science enrichment program - at a museum in Manhattan. 

“I’m fascinated by the sciences and I love sharing my passion for them,” says Jean who credits a miracle of modern science to recently saving her quality of life. 

“I was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer and was told that my kidney would have to be removed,” explains Jean, who had received similar opinions at two prominent medical institutions in New York City, where she resides.

She had concerns about the complications of living with a solitary kidney. “My preference, if possible, was to save the kidney, but none of the doctors that I had consulted with offered this as an option.”

That is until Jean met with Dr. Ravi Munver, Clinical Vice Chair and Division Director of Minimally Invasive & Robotic Urologic Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, who suggested an innovative, new treatment. 

“For patients, like Jean, who have low grade urothelial cancer of the kidney, I offer a combination of endoscopic laser therapy to remove the bulk of the tumor within the kidney, followed by a new kidney sparing chemoablation treatment with Jelmyto,” said Dr. Munver. Jelmyto, he explains, is a combination of a chemotherapy medication (mitomycin) and an innovative gel technology that is a liquid, but when chilled turns into a gel at body temperature.

The gel is injected through a catheter that is advanced into the ureter or through a tube that goes directly into the kidney through the back. The treatment, which was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is based on a clinical trial of 71 patients. Jelmyto remains in the kidney for 4 to 6 hours, fighting any remaining tumors with the intention of making them disappear and preventing them from returning. Following its installation, it slowly starts to liquify throughout the day and it leaves the body through urination. Results were achieved after Jelmyto was administered once weekly for 6 weeks.

The treatment worked wonders for Jean who was grateful to keep her kidney. “I am very passionate about saving kidneys, and Jelmyto therapy is among the latest advances that can help preserve kidneys, forgo or postpone major surgery, and maintain renal function. It is a true game changer,” said Dr. Munver, who is also Chief of Living Donor Kidney Surgery.

“I did not have to undergo major surgery, it really is a relatively easy procedure with little discomfort, and I’m thrilled with the results of this miracle of modern science,” says Jean. 

During March, National Kidney Month, if you would like to help spread the word about this new treatment option offered at Hackensack University Medical Center, contact [email protected].