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.

The information on the bulletin board is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

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Anonymous's picture
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For all my Melahomies, today I received a message from Jill (Sizemore) Judd fabout a research company that was calling for Eric. Eric did a research study before he passed away and they gave him $150 for participating. This new study is paying $225 for your participation. I know how helpful that can be when you are not working or have medical bills piled up. I asked them if I could share their information and they said yes. They need many participants for phone and possibly web surveys. Here are the requirements: You must be Stage 4 with Melanoma and currently undergoing treatment. Contact 1-888-392-5000 and ask for Raina or Nancy. Or you can call Nancy direct at 212-401-7904. Study will begin next week or the week after. Good Luck! Please feel free to share this information. I talked with them and they want people that have taken a Anti-BRAF targeted chemo.

I'm me, not a statistic. Praying to not be one for years yet.

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ecc26's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 9/7/2014 - 12:04pm
Replies by: arthurjedi007, Cooper, Anonymous, Bubbles

I was on Merk's EAP and got my 5th dose on Wednesday. I've been looking, but I'm wondering, now that it's been approved, how do local oncologists go about getting access and how long does that process take? Does anyone know?


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I posted the following appeal on Facebook this morning....sharing here in the hopes that others might do the same -- either share my appeal or create your own....My prayers include all those who are still in the fight!

Thank you!



My appeal, as the Mom of a heroic, 30 year old metastatic melanoma warrior who tragically lost his battle 4 weeks ago: 
If you’re planning to contribute to the Stand Up 2 Cancer fund drive tonight, and are not already committed to donating to another type of cancer, please consider instead, donating to the MELANOMA RESEARCH FOUNDATION (4 Stars on Charity Navigator - highest rating). Stand Up 2 Cancer is definitely a worthwhile generic research funding drive, but I couldn't find a way to designate my dollars to melanoma research specifically.

Melanoma research is grossly underfunded. Yes, great strides have been made with the new immunotherapy drugs, but they are far from a cure and still do not help the majority of metastatic melanoma warriors. 
Your donation is greatly needed for the melanoma warriors still in the fight and those not yet diagnosed!
Some facts, impersonal, but compelling: 
--Every hour of every day someone dies from melanoma.
--It is estimated that there will be 77,000 melanoma diagnoses 
and nearly 10,000 deaths in 2014.
--Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the U.S. and 
--Melanoma does not discriminate by age, gender or race. Everyone 
is at risk.
--Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-
30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 
--In ages 15-29, melanoma is the second most common cancer.
--The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is 
increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 
50% in women since 1980.
--Melanoma is not just a skin cancer. It can develop anywhere 
on the body – eyes, scalp, nails, feet, mouth, etc. (My son’s primary location was never found).
--The most dangerous aspect of melanoma is its ability, in later stages, to spread – most often to the liver, lungs and brain.

Please share...if for nothing more than to educate!

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is leading the melanoma...


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Vermont_Donna's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 9/8/2014 - 12:57pm
Replies by: kylez, BrianP, Vermont_Donna

Hello everyone,

  Its been a while and I thought I would update MPIP on how I am doing. I am an 8 year stage 3a (melanoma on lower calf, superficial spreading type) melanoma survivor. I am B-RAF negative. I am currently NED for 3 years 7 months after completing a clinical trial of ipilimumab (3mg/kg). I will have another PET scan this month, just saw my oncologist and did labs (exam and labs all normal) but he wants me to have PET scans every 6 months until I am 5 years NED. I'm ok with that!

  I have done the following treatments: 11 months of low dose interferon injection (I was unable to tolerate the high dose after having two of them), 7 months of leukine injections, 5.5 weeks of radiation to my lower right leg, an isolated limb PERFUSION at Mass General, 6 weeks of radiation, and then finally a clinical trial of Ipi. yes my melanoma came back after every treatment except for ipi. I do not feel that any of my treatments were a "waste of time", I feel that every treeatment "bought" me more time until the ipi worked, and who knows what cumulative effect there may be?

 I have moderate right leg lymphadema and wear a JOBST custom compression garment during waking hours, a Solaris night time compression garment, and I also have a Flexi-touch lymphadema pump that I do most nights (takes an hour). As I have below the knee edema also on my left leg due to cardiac meds that I take (I also had a heart attack two years ago, unlreated to cancer), I wear a double legged pantyhose style compression garment. Hotter than heck in the summer and not the best fashion statement, BUT it is a real conversation starter when I wear shorts or capris! I just naturally do on the spot education about skin cancer. I have alot of posto

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eturner's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/5/2014 - 12:20pm
Replies by: arthurjedi007, jualonso

Hi everyone,

My husband went to the dr on Tuesday and  we now know that the Braf combo drug has stopped working... While on the Braf drug his bone mets did not disappear they just stopped growing and his pain stopped during this time as well.... On the MRI this week it showed his L5 has a burst fracture and a large met in his hip area (radiation starts today on that) next week he will begin Ipi. My questions are he had many many bone mets to his spine, hip and pelvis as well as a deep femur met, and some on his skull, Is Ipi a good med for many bone mets and since the mets never went away after taking the Braf drug will they become active once again? Just looking for others experiences and advice. It means so much getting your advice.

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jualonso's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/5/2014 - 2:39pm
Replies by: BrianP, Tim--MRF

Hi folks,

Some of you know that few days ago i failed on BRAF inh. And now im on the decision way.  A new meat appeared in my lung, a very small one SUV 5.1 but all others, including my armpit nodule, are not in PET. As far as i know, a new met always means progression, so i have to change the treatment. My onc. Wanted to stop pills but finallywe decided to continue, at least till i decide what to do. IPI is the most clear option but new Trials are going to come out in a little time in Spain and i want to see if something more interesting could be on them. May be a Combo pembro and ipi or something like that. Now my Onc. Wants to wait 1.5 month to see everything with more perpective. But as you know after Fail Braf the tumor could become more agressive and everyday counts. I want to wait just 15 max for trials information and start IPI inmediatly. Well, thanks for your pieces of advice in this difficult moment.









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Happy_girl's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 9/8/2014 - 4:28pm

I just wanted to share here because I know so many of you have experienced the same emotion.... 

I had micromets in my sentinal node.  It was actually missed by the first pathologist.  So because of that, I  just had the clnd and heard that 34 nodes were removed and ALL were clear!!!! Yay!!!

I was just excited and wanted to share!heart

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Squash's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 9/5/2014 - 5:15pm
Replies by: SABKLYN, Janner, Squash, Momrn5


I recently found out via ultrasound that two sentinel nodes that I have been monitoring are now malignant with a 5mm and a 6mm growth respectively.

The doctor wants to do a full groin dissection but after reading everything and considering QOL issues I have opted against his advice and decided just to have those two nodes taken out.

Has anyone else been in that situation and done the same thing?

I have decided to try and mop up any existing melanoma undedected by ultrasound using alternative therapies.

I have cleaned up diet diet getting rid of all sugar, white flour, fried foods , red meat and dairy.

I started taking Avemar ie fermented wheat germ extract which according to some research is very good for melanoma and also beta glucens, IP6 , COenzymeQ10, green tea extract, tumeric,organic phyto greens, selenium and I am using a zapper for electrotherapy threatment.

Has anyone had success with these therapies?









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meghanod1's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/6/2014 - 9:46am
Replies by: snbsmith1, RJoeyB

My brother is in treatment for stage 4, recently experienced mixed response to AntiPD1, now on to TIL therapy at the NIH. He's having a tumor excised next week and then will have to wait a few weeks whils his TILs hopefully grow. Unfortunately he is also experiencing a lot of pain from a cluster of tumors that are not operable at this time. He's looking into options to manage his pain and wondering what experiences anyone has had with: 

- General pain management strategies -- in addition to narcotics including Lyrica, MS Contin and Dilaudid we are consulting with pain management team to look at nerve blocks and other options. Also trying accupuncture

- TIL treatment while on narcotics or other treatment for pain management (particularly since he's in a waiting period for TIL therapy to start)

- Options people have used to treat a specific troublesome tumor -- radiation therapy, someone else mentioned injections of  IL-2, others? 

- Anyone with experience going for a second round of Zelboraf to shrink a troublesome tumor? 

Any and all thoughts on these questions much appreciated! 




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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/4/2014 - 6:35pm
Replies by: Anonymous, Janner

I just received the call that I have malignant melanoma.  I'm awaiting the pathology report by email.  The doc said it was stage 3 - but i don't know what classification system was used.  She said it was not thick and that i'd need WLE and i'd likely be good to go.  Apparently the report said the cells were close to the border of the excision, and as such, another excision was recommended.  Can anyone shed some light?



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Tim--MRF's picture
Replies 18
Last reply 9/11/2014 - 2:23pm

The FDA has approved Merck's PD1 drug, pembrolizumab, for use in patients with metastatic or unresectable melanoma.

The drug, which will be sold under the name Keytruda, was approved based on a trail of 173 patients. 24% had tumor shrinkage and most of those patients continued to respond after 8.5 months. This is by far the best response rate of any melanoma drug currently approved.

The drug is approved for patients who have already been treated with ipi and, for those whose tumor has the BRAF mutation, with a BRAF inhibitor.



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Frannie55's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/5/2014 - 10:34am
Replies by: Tim--MRF, Bubbles

It's been quite a while since I've checked in. I seem to remember someone having lists of resources for financial help, nutrition, and a bunch of other stuff. Does anyone know where I can find it? Thanks all.

Believe that you can or believe that you can't. Either way, you are right. - H. Ford

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Colleen66's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 9/8/2014 - 11:49pm
Replies by: Melissag0624

Has anyone else developed Keratitis following Imunotherapy, specifically HD Inf.?  During the 4 week treatment my eyes were badly effected with inflamation and pigment changes.  Now the eye Doc is suggesting Plunctal Plugs to help with this.  

Any insight would be helpful.



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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 9/4/2014 - 7:52pm
Replies by: JoshF, Anonymous

I heard University of Chicago just got Dr Jason Luke from Dana Farber under Dr Steve Hodi, which is great because Dr Gajewski at U of Chicago travels constantly. 



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