MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

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Anyone had a fall in platelets with IPI?

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 4/2/2012 - 7:06am
Replies by: jim Breitfeller
JimNewJersey's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 4/2/2012 - 5:13am
Replies by: aldakota22

So how will the rest of the weeks go. Are the effects cumulative, or is this it?


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So how will the rest of the weeks go. Are the effects cumulative, or is this it?


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Jeff's Mom's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 4/5/2012 - 10:26pm

It's been a tough two weeks - Jeff finished his final IL2 treatment on March 15th (did 19 bags total - it was brutal, but he was willing to endure anything to get a positive response).  We were waiting and waiting (scan was scheduled for April 11th) to see some improvement in his overall condition, but he just seemed to be spiraling downward.  He was so exhausted, nauseated and pale - it was getting scary.  He finally went to the hospital on Thursday  (the 29th) because he had a fever and we were worried about hepatitis (he looked jaundiced).  Doc didn't like the way he looked, so Jeff had an early scan.  Tumor progression in the liver - serious and fast progression...

He is now on Zelboraf.  He seems better, but he's been on it for just a few days (2 to be exact).  Can it work that fast?  

I am worried about what to do next.  What will we do if the Zelboraf stops working?  How much time will we have to get him into another treatment?  What are our options - ippi and anti-PD1 might take too long to work for him - his cancer is aggressive.  We are trying to cover our bases - 2nd opinion scheduled at Moffit (hoping to find out more about the XL888 study) and have contacted UCLA about Dr. Lo's DNA sequencing work on Zelboraf resistance.  

This site has been so important to us - we read it everyday and are inspired by so many positive stories.  Thanks in advance for any advice.  

Jeff's Mom 

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Lilylove414's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/3/2012 - 5:37pm

So I did a little research. I used to love donating blood, and once you have melanoma you can't do that anymore. Bummer. What I can't find the answer to is if we can leave the country. I want to go to the Bahamas one day! Oh home treatment is getting easier. I have yet to stick myself with the needle haha. I'm 25 and I make my mom do it. I think she's going to make me do it soon though. Gah! Needles never used to bug me, now I want to be as far away from them as possible.

Oh! I went to see Hunger Games with my boyfriend and his family. His mom and I LOVED it! I can't wait for the 2nd one! Eeee!!

I'm also learning that eating healthier helps me feel pretty good! I'm not a health nut by any means but sodas have a limit now, and ice cream is consumed less often. Baby steps. I like going on walks, too. I'm determined to be a sexy lady haha.

Gotta say God has been super good to me. This hasn't been a smooth ride but honestly this is easier than my parent's divorce, and I believe my faith has a lot to do with that. They split up 12 years ago before I became a Christian.

Anywho...let me know if I can pray for you or someone you know! I spend a LOT of time at home and could use something to do haha. Other than daydreaming about having a dog again. And being hot. Girl stuff I guess.

Take care lovelies!

If God is for us, who can be against us?

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Phil S's picture
Replies 20
Last reply 8/17/2012 - 9:10am

Okay, all these trials are getting so confusing! I am pretty well read on melanoma, but I am a liberal arts kind of person NOT a scientist, so any help would be welcome. My understanding is that BMS has an anti PD1 trial called MDX 1106, which shows on the clinical website with one of the sites at Dana Farber in Boston. Yet, when I inquired about this trial at Dana Farber, they told me this trial wasn't open, and the clinical trial website is not up to date, frequently months behind, well that's a problem! Still, I don't understand why this BMS trial is closed. We are meeting with staff at Dana Farber next week as they said there is an opening in their Genentech trial with anti PDL1 drug, but even after reading about this drug not sure I understand the differences between drugs. I know that Cure Tech, Merck, and Glaxo Smith Kline all have anti pd1 trials and we are willing to travel if necessary. We want to make the right decision for Phil's treatment, but I am on a huge learning curve, as now I heard that tumors that express certain proteins respond better to anti Pd1, yet I don't think his tumors have been tested for these proteins. I need a Jimmy B to just tell me what to do, help! Anyway, Phil has completed six rounds of biochemo at MD Anderson, and has cells frozen for adoptive cell transfer, we are just not sure when we will get a slot, and I want plan B ( it's really plan C, D, or E, but who is counting), in place. Thanks for all the support, I love the mpip bulletin, dealing with stage 4 melanoma is hard enough, it's nice to have a place to go to where people truly understand! Valerie (Phil's wife)

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KevinM's picture
Replies 14
Last reply 4/8/2012 - 9:32pm
deardad's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/3/2012 - 3:27am

Thanks for everyone's input so far regarding my dad's treatment. I feel quite powerless at the moment. There are very few trials here in Australia at the moment. The only option is continue on BRAF while some tumors are stable others slight increase and add the MEK to it. We meet his oncologist on the 11 of April to discuss a plan.

Can I ask why we would remove the three/4 subs in and perhaps SRS surgery on liver tumors which are stable. The one in the spleen could perhaps be removed too or spleen removed? I know that must sound really crazy and I know it won't eliminate the disease but surely it will give my dad more time. What are you're thoughts.

There may be an E7080 trial in Sydney and we are Melbourne and BEZ235 plus MEK162 inhibitor trial in Melbourne.

How poor is that selection? 

Sorry feel flat


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MeNDave's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 3/31/2012 - 2:12pm
Replies by: LindyVA, Jim M., Anonymous, Rocco, Gene_S, jmmm, jim Breitfeller

Given the rate of growth of Dave's cancer in the past 6 weeks, he is leaning towards starting Yervoy Wednesday.  We have been in contact with Univ of Pitt regarding the MK-3475 trial.  The trial nurse (who was wonderful) said that only 1 seat was open on the current trial, and that was for a post IPI patient.  They did receive FDA approval for expanding the trial, so seats will be opening up for both post and pre-treated IPI patients at all of their investigational sites, but she is not sure when, and we don't have time to wait.  Given Dave's reaction to the IL-2 with the eye problem, I'm not even sure that he would qualify.  However, if he completes IPI and progresses (and has no eye issues) we can always try to get in then.  We've also brought up the issue of radiation with IPI, and his oncologist agreed that if he wasn't responding, he would do it.  Memorial/Sloan Kettering wouldn't even consider Dave because we aren't within 2 hours of the hospital, unless it is coordinated with his onc.  And given the 4 week washout period, we just don't want to wait that long.

In the mean time, if I could get some of you to share your success stories with IPI that I could pass on to Dave I would appreciate it.  He is very worried about this next stage of treatment, and I would like to reassure him that people DO respond to this.

I am trying to keep his attitiude positive, and need all the ammunition I can get - thanks to all of you for your help,



Don't ever, EVER, give up!

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deardad's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 4/2/2012 - 1:56am
Replies by: LynnLuc, FormerCaregiver, Anonymous, melmar

I'm interested whether we should take my dad who has a low tumor burden over to the US and try to get into a ANTIPD1 trial. Is this realistic? Do they take foreigners? Where would you recommend?

Thanks in advance


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deardad's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 3/31/2012 - 12:16am

Hi everyone,

Well we got my dads scan results today and it looks like after nearly 7 months Vemurafenib is loosing effectiveness.

Scans showed 1 x mm increases in the spleen, large lung tumor gone, 4 x liver tumors stable, sub fat x 3 increased by a few mm's. Nothing over 15mm as yet.

One new growth 10mm in the fat near buttock but hasn't been positively confirmed but I have no doubt that it's Melanoma.

Well we all cried and still feel really sick in the stomach after the trials nurse tells me we need to act quick as the decline can be rapid. Great....

So dad's oncologist has recommended via the nurse (he is overseas) that dad stay on Vemurafenib until he can get into Roches Vemurafenib/MEK combo (should be within a month). Really scared that maybe the MRI won't be good then what do we do? Hopefully that wont be the case. They don't like you asking many questions, re: treatments, I asked about ANTIPD1 and they don't know much about it but don't believe its running in Australia. Anyone here is AUS that knows whether that's the case? 

When I asked what plan C is if MEK fails the oncologist said "I can't read the future......" that was very unnerving as well. 

Any suggestions? Anyone doing well after failing MEK?


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bruski1959's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 3/30/2012 - 12:47pm
Replies by: audgator

Jackie had her 3rd Yervoy dose on Monday, March 26th, originally scheduled for Friday, March 16th, but she was having intestinal side effects which needed to be treated. Wednesday morning Jackie starting having intenstinal discomfort that tylenol didn't touch, anti-emetics helped, but also needed something stronger for pain relief. Early this morning, Jackie started having intestinal side effects which she was able to treat with Immodium. So back on clear liquids and high dose steroids. She is doing better this afternoon and this evening.  Hoping the side effects won't be as bad they were after Yevoy dose 2 which required to 6 hour visits to the ER for rehydration. Jackie has been resting a lot this and has almost no energy from the extreme fatigue.  Praying that she will be able to continue to cope with the side effects and side effects treatment so she can have Yervoy dose 4 on or after April 16th. Stay tuned. Appreciate your encouragement, prayers, and support!

Bruce and Jackie 

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fdess056's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/2/2012 - 7:46pm
Replies by: fdess056, LynnLuc

Hello, fellow warriors.  I completed Yervoy on March 1 and asked onc what's next .. He's recommending Zelboraf.  I did some research which states that your body builds up resistance to it and eventually, it stops working.  My question is should I begin to use it if I'm stable or have a only small increase in size or new small  tumors?  It seems that i could watch and wait before starting since I'm feeling well and living normally right now ( I am able to run every day).  If i can remain this way for even a few more months before starting, I'll have that much more time before the Zelboraf stops working.  Past history: surgery,and standard radiation on my forehead and neck, Interferon, SRS on my knee and brain and just recently completed Yervoy.  Most recent scan shows 6 lung mets largest 8 mm  Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated


FrankD Brooklyn

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bblapril's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 3/31/2012 - 7:41pm
Replies by: jolainajo

I'm not sure what the protocol is on this board for such a request but my husband needs to talk to someone who can relate to what he is going through.  He is a 43 father of two and at stage IV and just had his first infusion of Yervoy.  In short, just someone who feels like talking to him about their experiences and offer some hope.

If you can, please email me and we can go from there.

Thank you so much!

Be a fountain not a drain

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