Merck EAP PD1 pembro - first scan proves it works

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8/15/2014 3:33pm
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Replies: 19

I got my first scan with this Merck PD1. It was a few hours before my 5th dose so week 12. I would like my fellow warriors who have had every medicine fail so we finally get into the EAP to have faith. It does work.

I think my mayo doc was actually a little disappointed I didn't have a complete response but I think it is fantastic to have a mixed response. About a dozen or so tumors are shrinking including the t10 that almost paralyzed me last winter. About 6 or so stayed the same. 5 grew. However this was compared with a scan almost 1 month before I started PD1. Of the 5 that grew the huge 9 x 10 cm in my left shoulder they think is mostly dead tissue now because the huge center was dark surrounded by the red/orange mel. Also it visibly measures 9 x 9 now. The one on my skull that the visible part shrank a lot is internally at my brain so my mayo doc wants my local doc to radiate it so trying to get that started. I maybe should have had it done at mayo but didn't even think of it until we were on our way home. But my local radiation doc is really good. There are also the t12 and l2 in my spine that grew a lot so also waiting to hear if they want them radiated too. The one on my collar grew some since that old scan but the visible seems to have stayed the same. If you notice I refer to most of my mel by bone is because pretty much everything has started in a bone then grew to soft tissue involvment. So yes this stuff definitely works on bone mel tumors too.

So that's it. Finally some pretty darned good medicine if you ask me.

I dunno but I assume it is possible the PD1 might start working on the non responsive tumors? I know it can continue working on the responding tumors. I just don't know about the non responsive ones that grew or stayed the same.

Anyway be strong. Keep fighting. Like I've said many times that someone said to me on here no matter how many medicines fail you have to stay strong and find the one that works for you.



Awesome news, Artie!

Wonderful!  I am very glad for you and hope this is the beginning of victory for you over this disease.  I have just had to stop yervoy because of colitis that resulted from the treatments. I am hopeful that I will be able to start on PD-1 as soon as I heal.  Praying for results like yours.  Blessings to you!

One voice can make a song; one life can change the world.

That is awesome man!  My cousin was just diagnosed and his doctor told him about lawsuits related to using Viagra and it's increase on melanoma risks.  He found an attorney at that is saying he may be about to get paid for all his suffering.  

I'm so happy for you!!! So nice to see good news from people. I get my scans on Sept 2 and I'm hoping for good news as well. All my subQs have shrunk down so much my doctors can't even find them without me pointing them out (I can still feel the tiny nubbins mostly because I know exactly where everything is). I'm hoping that trend has carried through the rest of my body as well. I'm a bit nervous about the brain MRI as I have some pretty terrible luck/history with that, but hopfully that will be unexciting. Mostly it will just be nice to know what's going on. My baselines were just a week before my first dose, so these next scans should be a good indicator for me. I feel good- even planning to sign up for a 5K in October. It's been quite a while since I've felt like I could try to go for something like that, but your results give me some confidence that things really might be ok.

Congratulations and best of luck moving forward- I hope the rest of your mets fall in line soon

Sheesh. I couldn't even do a 5K before this disease. lol Stay strong and keep my fingers crossed for good news for you on Sept 2. Since you must already be responding or those would not have shrunk I think you are going to see some good results.

Absolutely wonderful news, Artie!  So happy for you.


Great news. Keep us posted. 

fantastic and encouraging! thank you for sharing your experience.

Great news, Artie!! And I bet there is more good news to come!! Yours, Celeste



This is awesome news!  I've been watching for your update and hoping that the results would be good.   I'm willing to bet the stubborn tumors will eventually respond too. I have my third infusion on Tuesday.  Scans will be Sept 30th right before my fifth dose. 

Remember, you never fight alone!

Very happy for you!


That's such wonderful news Artie! I'm so happy for you!


Dear Artie,

these are wonderful news, I was hoping that your feeling ist right and you will have a response. Keep on fighting. Like you said your last scan was 1 month prior PD1, this could be the reason why some tumors are classified as grown. My husband had the same experience with Ipi, inbetween scans and first infusion he had 3 weeks when a lot of tumors grew ore new ones came up. You have the right attitude so keep on fighting.

My husband will have his 2nd infusion this thursday. It seems that he has already a positive reaction.

All the best to you,


Already a positve reaction after the 1st infusion sounds incredibly encouraging. I hope the best for you husband.

So very happy for you, Artie,

let's hope the success continues!

Will keep you in my prayers!

take care,

Thank you everyone for your support and kindness.

I've been on the Merck MK-3475 for almost 2 years now.  I had many many spots of concern before I started the trial.  They all disappeared in the first 3 months of treatment...and have not returned.  All except the big one that was biopsied and had gotten me into the trial.  That one doubled in size those first 3 months to the size of a pingpong ball.  Then at the 6 month mark...that node doubled in size again to the size of a peach...but you couldn't see it or anything.  But a couple weeks later, it literally got so big overnight, that it was hanging out of my armpit like a baseball trying to get out.  It was like that for two days, and then it shrunk back down so it wasn't noticable.  And I scanned it it showed it had liquified and the doctors said that it likely blew up and died.  It is now the size of my thumbnail and getting smaller.  No other evidence of disease at this time.

So even though some of yours have shown growth, that just means it is taking a little longer for the reversal to happen.  You are definitely on the right track and congratulations for finally finding what works for you.  I know how relieved you must be.  Hearing that news, I am sure, is helping a lot of people right now.




Thank you Laurie. That is wonderful news. Congratulations to you.

Artie, congratulations on the scans and proof that it is working on you. Laurie, congrats also and thank you for sharing the info about the extended delay before pembro got the upper hand on your biggest tumor.

2 primaries; lung/brain mets in past; paratracheal lymph node currently; participating in  Opdivo/Lirilumab trial