Mothers melenoma spreading

Posted By
11/12/2017 11:45am
Replies: 4

I am very afraid and not ready to give up on my mom she is 62 yrs old . She has been fighting Melenoma for about 5 yrs .  This past September it reached level IV.  She also has acute leukaemia believed to be caused by radiation .   She has mets in her brain which were stabilized by radiation .  She also has two enlarged nodes on her chest and mets in her lung and liver .  She started Keytruda 6 weeks ago and it helped her leukaemia significantly .  The melanoma however does not seem to be responding .  One met in her liver in particular seems to be growing (I believe it is 16 cm).   She has stayed on Dexamethsone to ensure the swelling of the brain mets went down .  This has caused awful side effects , weakness , steroid induced diabetes, and focal seizures .  She is now in hospital with pneumonia and a fungal infection and her blood levels have dropped again .   Sisnce this has happened she has made significant progress over the last 4 days .  She was pretty much sleeping most of the time and she can now eat a meal and sit on the side of the bed comfortably.  He oncologist doesn’t believe that the therapy is working and wants to turn to palliative Care .   I’m determined to not give up on her and believe after 2 rounds of Keytruda it’s too early to tell .    Can anyone give any words of wisdom ? 


Thank you 

Bubbles - (11/12/2017 - 1:02pm)

I am sorry for all the difficulties your mom has been dealing with.  However, you are correct.  With immunotherapy, we have learned (in the words of a melanoma expert) to be "patient with the patient".  Responses take time with average response not ocurring until 3 months.

Here is a post (scroll down to the part about anti-PD-1) that includes a graph demonstrating that:  

Hang in there.  I wish you and your mom my best.  Celeste

So very she BRAF positive? If so, those the BRAF/MEK inhibitors can work extremely quickly, maybe giving time for the immunotherapy to kick in.

Anonymous - (11/12/2017 - 10:15pm)

Thanks for the responses .  I am not sure about the BRAF gene .  I asked about a different immunotherapy but dr said she didn’t qualify.  I do wonder if it worked for her leukaemia would she not be receptive to it for the melanoma too ?

She needs to be checked for the BRAF gene ASAP! Not sure why they would not have done this since it will open up a whole new line of treatments.