I've read a lot, but am still uncertain whether Yervoy is prescribed only for late stage (Stage IV). Thanks.
I'm not sure but my oncologist would know. You can email him and if it's a week day most likely you'll get a response the same day. He's one of the gurus of Ipi. His name is Jeffrey Weber and his email is: email@example.com
Yervoy is approved for Stage 3 or 4 UNRESECTABLE melanoma. So there are many stage 3 patients who wont qualify for it because their tumors have been removed with surgery. Hopefully the FDA will expand the use of the drug after the results of the adjuvant therapy clinical trials are released.
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The prescribing information says "for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with or without prior treatment"...........................veeeeeeeeeeery fuzzy.
By definition, Stage III is regional metastasis usually involving at least 1 sentinel node with either micro metastasis or full involvement of one or more regional lymph nodes, that in theory should be surgically resectable thus no Yervoy.
However maybe a patient is not a good surgical resection candidate due to compelling medical reasons. If that were the case, the patient would fit the prescribing definition and get Yervoy at Stage III.
However, here is a link to an oncologist in California who is intimately involved in the clinical trial process leading up to and ongoing for Yervoy in which he states specifically in the second paragraph that Yervoy is NOW FDA approved for Stage III and Stage IV patients. http://www.aimatmelanoma.org/aim-for-answers/physican-blog/1744.html
Realistically, until the 024 Clinical Trial Results on Yervoy in Stage III patients is announced at the June ASCO conference, it is doubtful many docs will stick their neck out and prescribe Yervoy at Stage III.
It's worth a serious conversation with your oncologist for sure..
Just a thought.
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