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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newmanmark's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 9:51pm

Hello,

I started Mekinist and Tafinlar today and I'm looking for some positive stories from people who are having success with this treatment.  I am 35 years old and stage 4.

Thanks

Mark

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Hi All - First time posting here. I have stage IV melanoma that's spread to the brain and liver. I've done TIL therapy at NCI and have been on Dabrafenib/Trametinib for about 7 months. I'm planning to start Yervoy soon but would really prefer to do an anti Pd-1 (Keytruda or Opdivo) first if I could. 

Does anyone have experience getting insurance to pay for Keytruda or Opdivo before Yervoy? I understand it may be easier now with the NCCN guidelines and with the new studies coming out this week in the NEJM. Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Replies 4
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 6:55pm
Replies by: jennifer83, Anonymous

Good Morning:

I was wondering how many on this board started as a stage 1a or b, progressed to a later stage, and the time frame of the progression.   I was dx stage 1b in June 2014 with a nevoid melanoma and I know that my chances of never having to deal with melanoma again are excellent, I still can't completely move past the thought that it one day will resurface.  

I find myself coming to this site often not just as a resource but to silently cheer on and offering up prayer to those who are so bravely fighting this awful beast.

Blessings to you all

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Replies 2
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 6:22pm
Replies by: Ninniditti

Does mucosal melanoma respond to immunotherapy treatments differently from cutaneous?  My father has a ery high tumor burden and was just taken off one of the pd-1 trials after only 2 mts since his scan showed many new nodules and no improvement.   His oncologist is now recommending yervoy.  Have any of you had experience with a similar situation?  

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arthurjedi007's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 4:54pm

I've had a good 11 month run on keytruda plus 8 spots of radiation. Still it hasn't been enough. Stuff keeps growing. Since it's doing some good and it's fda approved I can stay on it until I get on something else.

Basically 7 are shrinking. All at or near radiated spots. 5 are growing including the t10 that almost paralyzed me last year. One new one is on or in my left kidney which is suprising because it is new and pretty much all my other new tumors in the past started in the bones and grew out. The rest of im assuming around 20 stayed the same. So I'm glad keytruda is fda approved because trials would have kicked me out. The docs were actually debating whether to give me it today and decided to because it is doing some good. After all keeping 20 tumors at bay and other stuff is pretty good but not good enough. Kind of weird how each scan shows things growing but they are usually different spots. Also by growing 3 of those 5 are declared that because of the uptake not thst they see a larger mass outside the bone. The other 2 are declard that because of the uptake and soft tissue mass is larger. The new one on the kidney is also a tissue mass.

im very suprised the scan wasn't better. But I'm glad finally Siteman did a fairly detailed report that at least listed each tumor shrinking and growing. Also it could have been worse but I was expecting much better. Way better than the first 3 meds where everything kept growing though.

Now to scramble and get on a new treatment. Siteman has 30 open slots for the ERK trial. It is BVD-523 by BioMed valley discoveries. It is part 2 of phase 1 where they have already figured out the dose and are expanding to more people. Depending on which nurse you believe either 1 patient has had a partial response or 2 patients have had partial remission. That is with about 16 patients none of which are at Siteman because they haven't recruited anyone there yet. About 5 places have this trial. The side affects so far seem very similar to zelboraf. Since neither zelboraf nor the taf mek combo shrank anything I don't think this is the right trial for me but my doc does but he was out of town so couldn't talk about it. 

Tomorrow I guess I'll call university of Chicago for an appointment with dr Gajewski or dr Luke and try to finally go there and try to get into their opdivo pd1 anti lag3 trial or see what their thoughts are on what I should do.

Also TIL with dr Rosenberg is still an option but based on what Catherine said I'm not sure if I should pursue that.

im disqualified from the huntsman virus treatment because of bone metastisis.

Since keytruda is not enough for the internal stuff the trials for lesion injections with pd1 are not a good choice.

A lot of the other trials like pd1 anti kir and stuff I'm disqualified for cause I've had pd1. Although I may be missing something.

im not seeing a Ido pd1 combo or anything that might be good unless I'm missing it. Wdvax is still phase 1 and I've heard nothing about how good or bad it is.

So I dunno really what to do. Quite awhile back a lady on here posted how the pd1 anti kir trial failed her and she decided to go to md Anderson. I never heard what treatment she did or how things turned out. Her way of thinking she already did a pd1 combo so she needed something else. So maybe they have something good I just don't know about.

I just don't want to make a bad decision but I don't see any really good options. Since the t10 is getting worse I feel I only have one last shot at a treatment. I have to make it a good one or I'm probably not going to make it further. Maybe instead of Chicago I should just go to md anderson or memorial Sloan Kettering. But those typically require flying and the assistant doc couldn't say if my spine was ok for it or not based on the pet ct. They would need a mri. But he did say there was no mention of narrowing of the spinal canal and stuff. Plus I can still sit and touch my toes fine which I couldn't do last year when I was almost paralyzed. So I dunno. Also I get wore out fast after only a couple hours traveling. Also I need lots of food and drink or I get weak. Plus my parents who have been taking care of me are not getting any younger. So I just don't know what to do.

Thank you everyone one for your prayers and best wishes. I wish I had better news.

Artie

 

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Replies 1
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 2:56pm
Replies by: Janner

Hello,

I unfortunately am not new here.  Although, I have been fortunate that I have never gone to this board to get information for myself, I now need it for a second family member. 

Here is what I know:

Diagnosed with superficial melanoma less than 1 millimeter thick.  I have not seen the path report yet to know whether or not there was ulceration or what the mitotic rate is.  The WLE was done last week and the path results are not yet in.  Met with oncologists today and they are opting to do a PET Scan.  Seems to me this would classified as Stage 1A or 1B and the SLND should be warranted.

Thoughts?

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newmanmark's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 2:21pm
Replies by: Ed Williams

I was wondering if anyone has any information on the treatment for melanoma mentioned in the last paragraph of this article.  It looks like there's some major progress being made.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ottawa-scientists-hail-viral-st...

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Twistermom3's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 1:50pm
Replies by: Anonymous, Julie in SoCal

I had my first check-up after a WLE in October on my back for an in situ melanoma and full body check. The dermatologist described the scar on my back as keloid. It is irritated. The MD suggested steroid injections and I declined. The thought of annoying the scar more made me shudder. The scar is slightly raised . Has anyone done this for a scar?

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Replies 6
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 1:01pm

I would like to know how long Keytruda treatment last. Hoping somebody on this board have experience with the treatment.
Good luck to all of you!

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Hi all,

We're working with a reporter who is writing a story about skin cancer in Latina women. If you or a loved one is Latina, has melanoma and would like to share you/their story with the media to raise awareness of this cancer, please contact media@melanoma.org. Thank you!

Lauren - MRF

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"Acute heart failure due to autoimmune myocarditis under pembrolizumab treatment for metastatic melanoma...... it is important to be aware of such rare, but severe immune-related adverse events."

http://7thspace.com/headlines/506871/acute_heart_failure_due_to_autoimmu...

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jbronicki's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 10:26am
Replies by: dentholla, JoshF, yazziemac

Hi all,

Just to keep the trend going, wanted to post about our news yesterday from MD Anderson.  Last year in February, my 48 yr old husband was diagnosed with Melanoma.  Believe it or not, he had a 19 mm (almost 2 cm) lesion on his upper left back.  Apparently, it had grown immensely in 6 months and my daughter noticed it while they were swimming and then he said it woke him up one night, felt like he was lying on a marble.  He actually never told me about it and I didn't see because he gets ready for work and leaves about an hour before I do.  So he went to a dermatologist up by his work.    I can still remember bursting into tears when I first saw it before his surgery and how I could have missed it.  He ended up telling me he had melanoma while we were watching a movie on Saturday night  and it finally made sense why that afternoon he told me where the life insurance policies were (I couldn't figure out why he was telling me where the policies were). I got on the phone with MD Anderson the following Monday after I had calmed down. The Saturday night he told me he gave me the path report the doctor had given him.    I had the path report (my husband actually never looked at it) and it had the highest ratings for everything, depth, Clark's, etc and all the prognostic factors were off the charts.  I was a medical librarian and I used to work with biostatisticians that work on outcome studies so I looked up the evidence-based research outcomes that night and knew it was not good.I got on the phone with MD Anderson the following Monday after I had calmed down and scheduled his surgery for the following week.  I also burst into tears randomly at work that week, it was pretty intense.

My husband has a scar almost across half his upper back, he actually went back to work the day after surgery.  The tumor had no skin component so our first appointment with oncology after the surgery but before the scans, they said he was probably stage 3 or 4 nodular melanoma (of course one of the most aggressive) and considered it metastatic melanoma.  SNB came back negative though and also his scans later that month came back negative. 

Just had our 1 year scans yesterday and they came back clear.  Never thought we would be here, still remember reading that pathology report and then researching the various outcomes with his numbers and breaking down.  Been a wonderfully hard year and we seem to live in 4 month increment, but hard to believe so far NED.  I hope we can pay it back to whoever needs it. 

Many hugs to all of you out there, I've been on this board for the past year.

Thanks,

Jackie <3

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MixtaJones's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 4/21/2015 - 10:12am

Hey all,

 

I just got a call from my derm talling me that a mole they just did a shave biopsy on came back as a Superficial Spreading  Melanoma. Clark level 3. This mole was about 8 inches from my "primary" site on my back which was removed about 2 years ago. I have already had 22 lymph nodes removed, Radiation, and Yervoy to treat remaining tumors. The mole they removed has been there for years but every doctor has said it is nothing to worry about until my derm agreed to take it off.

Is this a second "primary" site? Or is it a sign of the first site spreading? I don't see my Onc till Wednesday ans I am a little freaked out. Has anyone had more then 1 melignant mole?

 

 

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me"

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eturner82's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 4/20/2015 - 10:41pm

Just wanted you to know thinking of you and saying a prayer!!

Emily

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