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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dewdads's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 6/11/2011 - 11:16am

I am trying to use this format to get and give information regarding the test drug Eisal E7080.  I took my first dose on 1/3/11. I also took an baseline PET/CAT and MRI on that day. At 28 days another CAT Scan showed the lesions had lost 1/2 of their volume.  Day before yesterday I took my second CAT under the E7080 protocal.  I think I am one of the first people to get this second scan.  I am very pleased to say that the SCAN showed that the size of the metstisis in my lungs have not increased since the second scan and there appear to be several fewer lesions, even though I had missed 4 weeks of the treatment.

I started with 24 meg  for 28 days and had my first CAT Scan  It showed the lesions had decreased but I  had to quit because the side effects I was experiencing were so bad that I could not endure them.   At that time I took my second CAT scan I went off the drug for 14 days and within 3 days I was starting to clear up some serious symptoms.  Wen I  resumed the medication at 20 meg  I was begining to repeat the symptoms within 3 days.  I was taken off for 10 days and at a third 4 week period went back on at a dosage of 14 meg.  While it has not been pleasant I can live with this dosage and the side effects I am experiencing.  These are mostly fatigue and unsteadiness.  I an experiencing muscIe and joint pain in my extremities.  My appetite remains this time.

I know that University of Colorado at Aurora is sponsoring E7080 trials.  I would like to make contact with people from this site and the other brave souls around the US who are involved with these tests.  I hope you all are experience the positive results I have had.

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shellebrownies's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 4/29/2011 - 11:24am

Hey all,

Is it normal to take a month or more to get a proper staging and treatment plan? The waiting and lack of knowledge is driving Don and I insane! He has had the melanoma diagnosis since the 1st and we probably won't have an answer on his stage until at least May 6th. 

Why this drives me insane: Dr. Ibrahim told us at our appointment 2 weeks ago that because Don's mel was found to be extracapsular, it put him at a higher risk of reoccurrence. She also said she had some concerns about how quickly everything blew up under his arm and thought that might indicate a more aggressive form of cancer. YET... she scheduled the repeat PET scan 2 weeks later and our next appointment with her for 3 weeks later! When I questioned her about that, she said Don would have to have time to heal from the surgery before treatment could be administered anyway.

The original PET scan he had done on the 7th appeared to have a hot spot in the right shoulder that it was believed indicated more infected lymph nodes as well as an area of suspected activity on the left side of his neck. They are having him repeat to find out if the neck area lit up was an anomaly (like a sore throat or something) or not.

I understand that it is extremely important for them to know Stage IV vs. Stage III, but does it really need to take this long? Meanwhile, Don has had no treatment all this time and that makes me very nervous that he'll end up Stage IV just from all their waiting to start treatment!

Help me not to freak out, please. Thanks!



Gonna stand my ground, won't get turned around, And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down; Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down. ~Tom Petty

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o2bcheri's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 5/4/2011 - 11:23am

Hi everyone...

it is so strange... I came here because my best friend ever found that his melanoma had spread to one lymph gland after 2 yrs....

he is so busy.. and I come on here every day to learn as much as i can to help my friend..

then... yesterday.. my brother called.. and told me he has some sort of lesion on his arm.. the derm did not like the look of it and made appt

to take a "plug" and have it tested... my brother had had basal cell in the past.. and he seems to think that is what it is again.. but.. i am worried..

he said it is crusty and itches.. and the word "plug" scared me as i have heard that word here associated with biopsies of suspected melanomas..

does anyone know if taking the plug means the dr thinks its melanoma rather than a basal cell carcinoma.. i have said nothing to brother as he

is nervous already... of course i told him that basal cell is not life threatening.. and to relax...

question two is...

has anyone here tried the alkaline diet??? changing the PH of the body to alkaline rather than acid???? i have read a lot about cancer not being

able to live in an alkaline environment.. and clearly... this would be most effective if started BEFORE the cancer takes hold.. or even grows at


have any of you heard of this.. or tried changing your PH.???

would like some feedback on this... my best friend is doing it.. drinking alkaline water.. macro biotic drinking.. no smoking.. etc etc..

i am hoping that this is a good plan of action.. or am i just being pollyanna???


thank you all for being you.. i have gotten involved and care so much about you all..

prayers for each and every one of you.. each night.. and always in my thoughts..


thanks.. michele 

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Jim in Denver's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 4/30/2011 - 4:37pm

How long after beginning to take a MEK Inhibitor should it take before results are seen (is there is any effect)?  I am taking Eisai 6201 at The Angeles Clinic, and have conpleted one cycle (6 infusions over 3 weeks, with this week off).  Tumors have increased in number and size.  Scans willl be both CT and MRI.  The Doc mentioned the possibility of doing early scans.  Should I wait for the schduled scans at 8 weeks or ask for early scans?

Also, any information about the BRAF trials for non 600E tumors and Brain mets (2 seperate trials)?  My Doc says I would be eligible for these but that they are not open yet - maybe in a few months.  Not sure if that is accurate, so feedback is appreciated.

Best wishes to all.


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Shelly in Switzerland's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 4/29/2011 - 2:11am
Replies by: Kim K, Phil S, Cate, lhaley

I have been so out of it for the past month.  bedridden, throwing up, double vision, siatica nerve in bsck snd neck with seizures.... 

Anxious for changes!  This week everyday there have been imptovments.  Today I sat at the dinner table with my family!  a major triumph!

MRI showed radiation it has shrunk the 2 large tumors. No new growth on the chest tumors from before.   Now we wait for a month and see if more it dies, ince I am seeing healthy improvements now.   (Last 4 days I have seen improvements with my left side!)

 Today has been another successful day!  Whoa!  A trip in the car to the doctors appt, sat at the dinner table for the first time in a month with my family; and George, Dad, and Lisa, along with our friend Alwyn helping interpret a tour of the Lukas Klinik and a Hospic im Parc facility in Arlesheim (all just trying to learn about options… but after today’s news not necessary for awhile.

 Today’s’ plan is that we will wait one month, stay on the Braf, reduce steroids, start the Linac (STS radiation), wait for more shrinking… then try the Iplimumab ( Yervoy).  Lots of investigation still to do...




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flynn's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 4/28/2011 - 4:57pm
Replies by: Anonymous

Has anyone heard of this place in the Bahamas? Any takes on it?         - here's what they say..

"At the Immune Augmentative Therapy Centre we have been working to find the best therapies available to restore your immune function since 1977. Lawrence Burton Ph.D. opened the IAT Clinic in Freeport after his many years of successful research therapy in the USA on the immune systems of hundreds of terminally ill cancer clients".

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jag's picture
Replies 14
Last reply 5/3/2011 - 9:03am

CT of Chest Abdomen Pelvis all Clear

MRI all clear

I feel like a little kid again getting excited by numbers going up!

Hang in there and Fight Fight Fight!

Insert Generic Inspirational Motto Here

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 4/29/2011 - 10:11am
Replies by: King

Well this past Tuesday Brent started his new MEk trial at MD Anderson.  He was on  GSK Mek for 14 months and started to progress.  So after a mistake in the insurance approval, and not getting the right information about B-12 and folic acid prior to starting the trial, he finally started.  He is on MEK/Alimta combo trial.  Alimta is a drug approved for lung cancer that they are combining.  He feels well today but is sleeping more than usual.

Sharon and Brent (stage IV)

2007 Melanoma under toe nail and lymph  nodes in groin

2009 Stage IV in lungs

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Alanfph's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 4/28/2011 - 2:48pm

I have had 2 melanoma findings in the past 3 months.  I have a teriffic doctor and he caught them early, both were Stage I (back and leg).  I went for my 2 month checkup and they found 7 moles that are suspicious.  Biops. were taken and I am waiting on the results.  They said this is very rare....but said no more then that.


Does anyone have any thoughts?


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I have had 2 melanoma findings in the past 3 months.  I have a teriffic doctor and he caught them early, both were Stage I (back and leg).  I went for my 2 month checkup and they found 7 moles that are suspicious.  Biops. were taken and I am waiting on the results.  They said this is very rare....but said no more then that.


Does anyone have any thoughts?


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 4/28/2011 - 1:53pm

Can your health insurance cancel your policy if you move out of your state (just across the border) and the state would be NY

Thank you.

Insert Generic Inspirational Motto Here

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shellebrownies's picture
Replies 15
Last reply 4/30/2011 - 7:17pm

We're about  4 weeks out from Don's biopsy/lymphectomy and this morning he got up and his right arm was swollen. He said he was a bit more sore than normal also. It's important to note that he is not yet receiving any treatment for the Melanoma because they are still staging him. (He goes for repeat PET on Friday 4/29 and his next Onco appt is Friday 5/6)

He just saw the surgeon last Friday because he was having on and off bouts of increased pain. Surgeon had said everything looked good, no sign of infection, and he removed the rest of the Steri Strips, which did seem to help with the pain. We thought everything was moving along fine.

We called the onco, who thought after talking with my husband that it is most likely Lymphedema and we should look into getting him a compression sleeve. The surgeon's office is getting back to us in the morning about it, but the surgeon didn't seem too concerned (not concerned enough to have him come back in).

My questions are these: How do we know if that's what it is? What are the common symptoms (other than the swelling)? What can we do to make it better/go away? Is he going to be stuck like this forever and will it affect other possible treatments in that area? Will it affect his PET scan on Friday if it's still swollen?

Any information anyone can give would be very much appreciated. Thank you!


Michelle, wife of Don, Stage IIIC (for now)

Gonna stand my ground, won't get turned around, And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down; Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down. ~Tom Petty

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Erinmay22's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 4/29/2011 - 2:17am

March 1stI had melanoma confirmed in my lungs.  For the last 6 weeks I’ve been trying to get qualified for a B-RAF trial.  The good news is that I found out (thru a whole list of waiting and errors) that I am + for the mutation, but my April scan didn’t show enough “active measurable growth” to qualify for the trial.  Now I know I should be doing some sort of happy dance for that statement – but I guess my guard is still up!   

So now I am back at square 1 (again…) What do I do for treatment?  My doctor even suggested maybe watching and waiting since it appears that most of my lungs spots have just disappeared?  Were the rest of them maybe an infection and the 2 out of the 12 they biopsy just happen to be melanoma?  Or is it that my body is fighting it?  It’s so confusing… and now I sit and wait again.  Perhaps they will try Ipi/Yervoy?  I don’t see my doctor for a few weeks.  My scan results are listed below as information 

4.19.11 Scan: Lungs – Status post left upper lobe and left lower lobe wedge resections of pulmonary nodules, biopsy-proven to represent metastatic melanoma.  There has been interval resolution of all additional subcentimeter pulmonary nodules, with the exception of a 3 mm right basilar lesion, and a subcentimeter right basilar granuloma.   

Everything else was listed as stable from my previous scan with the exception of new small bilateral adnexal cysts and stated no new evidence of metastatic disease. 

1.13.11 Scan: Lungs – all stable scattered subcentimeter pulmonary nodules are identified most of which measure 0.2 to 0.3 cm.  The largest seen posteriorly at the right base measuring 0.4 cm.  Calcified granuloma right base lung.  Impression states: multiple bilobar scattered subcentimeter pulmonary nodules.  Although there is evidence of prior granulomatous disease within the thorax and some of the lung nodules may be related to this process, the multiplicity (my doctor stated there were over a dozen spots!) of nodules raises concern for metastasis.   



Erin "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel' Maya Angelou

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Tracy Chicago's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 4/28/2011 - 6:12pm

Hi everyone! I just wanted to remind anyone who is feeling depressed or hopeless about melanoma that there are so many melanoma survivors out there beyond this board (but I do love the survivors on this board :)). Either they don't know about this website or they are just off enjoying life so they don't come here to post, but they do exist and they exist in masses!

I know several melanoma survivors (Stages 3 to 4) who have been around for 10 years of more after winning their battle with melanoma. They aren't people I've met through this board; they are people I met when I received my stage 3 diagnosis 3 years ago and I began that long journey of researching all the details about melanoma. It's hard to think positive, but remember that some lucky people do survive for a very long time and you just might end up being one of those lucky ones!



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LampChop's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 4/28/2011 - 1:49pm

I've been looking for a cancer support group of young moms or young women without children.  I'd love to chat with others for whom a cancer diagnosis has halted their ability to start or grow their family.  Anyone on this board that is in a similar situation to me?  I'm 38, Stage IIIB with strong recommendations from many doctors to avoid becoming pregnant again (which I have decided to abide by).  I have a 2 year old daughter.


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