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.

Expand/ Collapse Topic
 
Replies By
View Topic

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2012/03/melanoma-drugsecondary-tumors/

In 2011, the FDA approved the drug vemurafenib for the treatment of metastatic melanoma in patients whose tumors harbor the BRAF 600E mutation. While the drug, known commercially as Zelboraf, has nearly doubled survival among patients who respond to treatment, a significant number of those patients develop secondary skin cancers – most commonly squamous-cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas.

To determine the cause of these secondary cancers, the investigators performed a molecular analysis of patient lesions.

Most of the patients (78 percent) had clinical signs of chronically sun-damaged skin and 17 percent had a history of squamous-cell carcinomas or keratoacanthomas.

Researchers obtained 21 samples of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma or keratoacanthoma from 11 patients with metastatic melanoma, and a validation set of 14 samples from 12 patients who had been treated with vemurafenib.

The investigators found that about 60 percent of the tumor specimens harbored mutations in the RAS gene, the most prevalent being HRAS Q61L.

The researchers then used a mouse model to induce HRAS Q61L-mediated skin cancers and found that while vemurafenib did not initiate or promote cancer development, it accelerated growth of existing lesions that harbored HRAS mutations.

Growth of these tumors was blocked when a drug that inhibits the MEK molecular pathway was used.

“This is a prime example of bedside-to-bench research where observations by oncologists can be rapidly studied and elucidated by close collaboration with dermatologists and basic scientists,” said Puzanov.

“This will inform further clinical development of next-in-line BRAF inhibitors, as well as BRAF-targeted drug combinations.”

The authors note that studies in mice suggest these secondary tumors develop from a multi-step process driven by exposure to a chemical carcinogen or ultraviolet light, followed by a tumor-promoting event. This event is an oncogenic driver mutation in RAS, preferentially in HRAS.

“Our study suggests that combining the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib with a MEK inhibitor drug may be useful in patients who harbor the RAS mutation,” said Puzanov.

Melanoma patients who are being treated with vemurafenib are now monitored closely for the potential development of these secondary skin cancers, which tend to appear soon after treatment begins.

The secondary cancers can be safely removed surgically and patients do not have to stop vemurafenib therapy for their metastatic melanoma.

I'm me, not a statistic. Praying to not be one for years yet.

Login or register to post replies.

Snickers60's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 6/29/2012 - 8:55pm

Are you guys taking it and HOW MUCH ?

 

Thanks

Nancy (devoted wife of 3X Warrior Wayne) 

Matt. 15:13 "Every plant that my Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be pulled up by the roots". "With God all things are possible" ! Keep the FAITH !

Login or register to post replies.

Gene_S's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 6/29/2012 - 6:03am
Replies by: JerryfromFauq, LynnLuc, Anonymous

Live 4 today. Thank God for all he has done for us. Looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.

Login or register to post replies.

MeNDave's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/30/2012 - 7:36am

OK, quick update... Dave's meds have increased again since his nerve pain in his hand has come back.  At the same time, he finished his radiation yesterday to his spine, hip, and right axilary tumors (believed to be causing the hand pain).  He is very tired, and despite my being adament that he stay home and rest for his chemo appt tomorrow, he just he went to work. 

My question is this - he has been getting these fevers with the pain.  Last night it spiked at 102.9, and this morning was still 101.7.  His white blood cell count is good, but his hemoglobin is border line for a transfusion (9.4 currently).  His onc does not believe it is due to infection, and considering that other than the hemoglobin count, his bloodwork is excellent.  His liver levels are great.  I have read that sometimes when the tumors become necrotic, they can cause fever.  Of course, if the tumors are growing they can too, but that doesn't seem to be the case (we hope).

I was just wondering if anybody else out there has experienced these.

Best wishes to all,

Maria

Don't ever, EVER, give up!

Login or register to post replies.

Tim--MRF's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/27/2012 - 10:11pm

The news reported a few days ago that the the review panel for Britain's National Health Service have said that Zelboraf is too expensive and the long-term benefits are unclear, so they recommend the NHS not cover the drug.  This is devastating news for melanoma patients in Britain, and I believe we need to help reverse this recommendation.  My colleagues in the UK and Europe have asked for our help, and here is what they recommend:

If you are a melanoma patient or the family/friend of a patient in the UK, please submit a comment on this issue.

If you have taken Zelboraf--particularly if you are a long-term responder--please submit a comment even if you don't live in the UK.  Your story can have an impact.  

You can submit comments here:  http://guidance.nice.org.uk/TA/Wave27/5/Consultation/DraftGuidance

My personal feeling on this is driven by a few widely-reported facts:

--clinicians have a biomarker that predicts response

--response rates are high among those patients receiving the drug

--while the median duration of response is 6 to 7 months, those months tend to be characterized by high quality of life

--some patients have much longer responses

This seems like a strong case for approving the drug in the NHS.  

Tim--MRF

Login or register to post replies.

awillett1991's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 6/28/2012 - 6:43am

I feel like the last unicorn being a BRAF V600D but I'm posting this in the hopes it can help someone else. I can't be the only one. Despite there being no data available on its efficacy, Dr Sosman believed that Zelboraf would work on my tumor. I started 4-17 and was on and off for the horrid rash, then joint pain. I also suffer through the other many nasty side effects like so many people. I have been steady on 3 pills 2 times a day for 9 weeks or so. In April I had a cardiac met measuring 24x25mm and yesterday It measured 18x16mm. It's working and we are rejoicing for however long it lasts.

Login or register to post replies.

Iowa98's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/28/2012 - 8:21pm
Replies by: NYKaren, LynnLuc

Hello,

With my father coming off of some chemo treatments, he has been using steriods to bolster his energy level.  While not the prescribed usage, it has helped with his energy and overall emotional state.  However, he is now starting IPI / Yervoy and I've read that the use of steriods may impact the effectiveness of the treatment.  Has anyone heard or experienced this?

Thanks, what a journey......

Jessica

Login or register to post replies.

bikerwife's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 6/27/2012 - 8:46pm

Lynn started taking his pills Monday not sure what to expect hoping for the best. I do know thems some big pills. Lynn is trying to stay out of the sun and I did go buy him a uv shirt to ride in not that we get to ride a lot but hoping he gets to feeling better soon.

He's lost so much weight really hoping he can gain some of it back.

Lynn has a lot of little tumors on his body a lot of them disappeared after ippi. Will zelobraf make them disappear.

Anyone that can give me some ideas of what to expect or things I can do to help him. It would be greatly appreciated. As allways love and pray s for you and your families.

Thanks Belva

What God leads u to he will. Lead you through

Login or register to post replies.

Angelica Camargo's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 6/27/2012 - 11:15pm

Hello, 

 

My mom was diagnosed with Mucosal Melanoma March 2012. She already had surgery to remove the tumor (stage IV) and completed her Radiation treatment. She never felt sick and has had an amazing energy throughout all the past months. It is sacry to know that cancer can be so silent. To be honest, only reason we know she "had" (hopefully) cancer is because of the biopsy. Her scans came clean and we are so greatful and hopeful that she is truly clean. But of course we know that this melanoma cells are very sneaky and they can be small and hiding around the body. Our oncologyst 100% suggested "INTERFERON". We are not scare of the side effects but I would love to hear from people that has had or have this same type of cancer. It is so rare that it is so frustrating to hear from the Doctors "We just don't know"

 

Greatfully, 

 

Angelica (Gely's daughter)

BTW: Bastyr Clinc (Naturopathic University) has helped us so much make my mom's body so strong and healthy. I 100% recomment to complement any treatments with Viatmins, supplements and an extremly healthy food routine. 

Login or register to post replies.

yoopergirl's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 6/26/2012 - 10:32pm

Tomorrow morning at 10:30 will have a punch biopsy on several of my melanoma's, then radiology at 1:45 for an ultra sound and then at 3 pm start the draining of the fluid around my lung and that will take until 5 pm. Hopefully that will help with my shortness of breath. One week after that will find out when I start my clinical trial. Getting anxious now.

Login or register to post replies.

On Sunday, August 12th, lace up your sneakers and join the Melanoma Foundation of New England at the starting line for the 2012 New Balance Falmouth Road Race. You can help spread awareness and educate others in the fight against melanoma.

Runners have been raising funds and awareness for the Melanoma Foundation of New England since 2004. Running for Cover, the Foundation's running team, has been running Falmouth for the past four years. We aim to raise more than $15,000 this year! Runner will be required to raise a minimum of $1,000 to help us reach our goal.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in joining Running for Cover, please visit our website, apply online, or email jshea@mfne.org.

Login or register to post replies.

Snickers60's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 6/25/2012 - 4:21pm
Replies by: Snickers60, Anonymous

Wayne and I have found www.houstongroundangels.org and they are FABULOUS !

It only cost a "THANK YOU" -  and they are precious people.    We used them the first time last trip and they were

very lovely, kind and TIMELY people.   Oh for Joy, as they celebrated with us over our good news.   (and they don't wear perfume,

colgone - big for us with the treatment and my chemical allergies)

The lady who picked us up had family who has had Melanoma.  Her husband had had it...MOLE  - and his sister had died of it,

so when we got the news, that Wayne was "NED" -  I called her.   I said, I know I'm not suppose to use your personal number but I had to tell you this in lieu

of your family's history !   She was soooo grateful I did and so happy for us, and said she would look for us on the board for the next time

we came to Houston to be our GROUND ANGEL.     She was a hoot and we laughed the entire trip........crying laughing that is.  What

great endorphins.   We really hit it off. 

We were paying around $70-80 for a round trip to MDA from Houston Hobby by cab - shuttle will cost you that too, and they are soooo rough

it will undo your spine.   Now it only cost a THANK YOU !    This amount really adds up when you know you will be going there once a

month for the rest of your life !

I hope and pray this blesses and helps someone.

Nancy (Devoted wife of #3 time Warrior Wayne)

Matt. 15:13 "Every plant that my Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be pulled up by the roots". "With God all things are possible" ! Keep the FAITH !

Login or register to post replies.

Guten Tag's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 7/1/2012 - 2:55pm

I finally registred an account on melanoma.org and I thought I would say hello and give a quick update.  I've been NED since my last surgery and radiation treatment sometime in 2003.  For those of you who don't know, I was originally diagnosed as either Stage IIIC or Stage IV -- I had a total of 16 of 19 lymph nodes from my right axilla test positive for melanoma.  

I had  3 surgeries: a surgical biopsy, a WLE, and a final surgery (I had a recurrence about a year after original dx).  I did the high dose interferon for the first month, but did not do the 1 year long treatment.

I feel extremely fortunate to be alive and to also have a great quality of life.  Other than a few scars, I haven't had any complications, except that lymphedema in my right (also dominant) arm showed up last year -- over 7 years after final surgery and radiation.  It was a bit surprising, but I won't complain, given that I had a canteloupe sized mass removed on my 2nd surgery, plus radiation treatment, I was lucky to not have it right away.

I'm back in Austin, TX and a full time student at the University of Texas -- studying Psychology and Computer Science -- with about 1 year left.  I have a girlfriend of a little over 3 years now, who has a 9 year old daughter.  I adore them both.  I've also started a new company, Predictable Data, and it is going well.

OK, just wanted to say hello to old friend and give an update. 

-Dwayne

Be so good they can't ignore you. -Steve Martin

Login or register to post replies.

Anonymous's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 6/25/2012 - 9:11am
Replies by: JerryfromFauq, Minnesota, Anonymous, Charlie S, Linny

A friend of mine just send me this information

New Report About Melanoma Statistics: “9 of 10 Melanoma Surgeries Not Necessary”

Is it really true? My wife has an ugly scar in her face after a surgery in a general clinic. Maybe she did a mistake not to get a second opinion from a specialized?

Login or register to post replies.

MaryEllen's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 6/25/2012 - 12:21am
Replies by: Swanee

Hi everyone,

I would like to know if anyone has done IPI with an autoimmune disease and how you have made out. Still trying to sort out treatment options. I have very light MS and am not gene positive. Was headed for IL-2 but now doctor is looking at IPI with my neurologist.

Many thanks to all,

MaryEllen

 

PS Thanks Eileen L for your quick answer. What did your Dr think about IPI and MS?

Login or register to post replies.

Pages