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.

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Hello everyone,

My name is Youri and I live in the Netherlands.
My father has been sick for a long time and after succesfull radiation therapies, my fathers melanoma's were stable for over a year. In the pas couple of months the melanoma's started growing again. Radiation and chemo didn't work this time. 

We heard about a new treatment, called R05185426, which possibly would lead to stabilisation, or even shrinking of the melanoma's. In the Netherlands this treatment is still in the experimental stage. An entrance requirement is that the melanoma's above the shoulders are stable. Unfortunately my fathers aren't. Yesterday the doctor told us that my father is excluded from the new treatment. 

My question is, whether in other countries than the Netherland, the treatment can be performed or the new chemo can be optained on the free market. 
We are almost out of hope so if you know anything, please reply, and help us.

With kind regards,

Youri Hasper and family


Carpe Diem

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jag's picture
Replies 14
Last reply 6/24/2012 - 3:10pm




Insert Generic Inspirational Motto Here

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Good news for anyone lucky enough to have been in Dr. O'Days care.  He is back practicing at Beverly Hills Cancer Center.  8900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA.  His phone number is 310) 432-8900.  His email address is

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MeNDave's picture
Replies 14
Last reply 6/18/2012 - 7:21am

Dave had his first set of scans since starting carbo/taxol.  He also had a gamma knife follow up brain MRI.  Brain lesions that were treated are shrinking.  They did identify a 1-2 mm tiny spot on the opposite side which they are choosing to just monitor.

The scans showed improvement in the liver, lungs, spleen, and sub-q's, with the exception of one node in his right axillary which increased slightly.  The liver actually seen an 80% overall reduction in mets, with many not seen anymore.  Same with the spleen.  The down side is that they do see a new lesion in his hip bone/pelvic area.  He also had lesions in his spine, but those appear to be responding to the chemo.  He is having severe pain in his right hand which they believe is due to one of the tumors either in his axillary area or his spine pressing on a nerve.  Pain meds (methadone, oxy, gabapantin, dilaudid) aren't helping, so he is going to start radiation next Monday to the lower spine and armpit to see if it relieves the pain.  His LDH has gone from 8000 when he was in the hospital to 698 - which is just outside the upper limits of normal. 

Given that we KNOW the carbo/taxol is working, he is going to do two more rounds, and then restage.  He could switch to IPI then, or see if he qualifies for one of the anti-pd1 trials. 

All in all, we'll take it!!

Best wishes to all of you,



Don't ever, EVER, give up!

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 6/8/2012 - 7:27pm
Replies by: Cindy33, Janner, jaredmiller16, natasha, Anonymous, EmilyandMike

After my diagnosis, I was at the derm every three months and now I am at the derm every six.  However, while I am pregnant, he wants to see me every three months. I was there right before delivering my son last week.

I noticed while nursing that I have a new mole under my breast. Lets just say this mole is not a result of sun exposure :) Because of the odd place, I do not think the derm checked this mole in my last visit. Its not visitable on our pictures and I do not remember him looking there..

Needless to say, I am not to worried about it. Its a reddish color, perfectly symmetrical, and has the texture of a skin tag. It looks nothing like what my mel did.

But, I read on a website that any new mole should be reported to the derm immediately regardless of what it looks like. Although this is good advice, I am wondering since I am pretty educated on mel if this is necessary since I go to the derm as much as I do. I get new moles all the time and I would be in his office at least once a month if I followed this advice. I will do whatever do save my life, but then again, I do not want to drive my derm crazy in the meantime. What do you all do?

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Replies by: alpineartist, POW

I like that there is another new option for those considering Interferon...

From the press release:

Polynoma’s melanoma vaccine has an extensive clinical history, having been safely administered to over 650 patients. The current Phase III study of POL 103A has been initiated based on the results of two randomized, placebo-controlled Phase II trials that demonstrated strong efficacy in terms of significantly improved Recurrence-free survival (“RFS”) and overall survival (“OS”). Additionally, POL 103A has exhibited an excellent safety profile.
Dr. Chiplin commented, “POL 103A’s strong safety profile and tolerability have a significant advantage over Interferon, which has limited efficacy and poor tolerability despite its being the current standard of care for resected Stage IIb – III melanoma patients, for whom there are currently no other alternatives.”



Ages Eligible for Study:      18 Years to 75 Years
Inclusion Criteria:
Histologically confirmed Stage IIb, IIc, III melanoma
Surgical resection within 90 days of first dosing
Persons with positive sentinel nodes must have a complete lymphadenectomy
ECOG performance status 0 or 1

Exclusion Criteria:
Any prior melanoma treatment other than surgery or regional irradiation
Diagnosis of non-cutaneous melanoma or melanoma with unknown primary origin
Use of biologic response modifiers within 60 days of first dosing
Subjects with history of other malignancy within past 5 years (with exceptions)

Our experience with melanoma:

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Jamietk's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/7/2012 - 11:35am
Replies by: Jamietk, Janner, DonW

Hello all,

I have not posted in a long long time. I do check in occasionally, but have really tried my best to put mel behind me. I am stage IIA, coming up on my 7 year anniversary in a few months. Today I noticed 2 teeny tiny red dots. One of them is exactly 1/2 inch from my wle on my arm. The other is exactly 1 inch from my wle on my arm. One looks/feels like it is on top of the skin. I can't tell on the other one. I'm a little worried. Obviously I'll get in with the derm as quick as possible. I did injur my arm this weekend. I had my car door open and turned to walk away and had not cleared the door. I jammed my arm right where my wle was and it did swell and is very tendor and sore still. But I don't think that would cause 2 red dots, would it? Maybe brusing, but not dots. Any thoughts on this? Thanks for the input.

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deardad's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 6/7/2012 - 11:39pm

So here we are on the second round of Temador not knowing whether it is working or not. From the visible mets it doesn't look very promising.

He just finished 5 rounds of WBR which really for him he said was the hardest treatment so far. Ended up in the hospital to check for a suspected blood clot on his lung due a pain in that area but fortunately was ruled out. No explanation was given, they just gave him oxycodene for the pain.

He is more tired, but still up and about (I am hoping this is just the treatments and not the disease). Where to next? Who knows. Feeling quite sad for the what the future holds and I only hope that the WBR and temador can stabilise things enough to get him on another trial. We have lost so many lately and the reality is far to hard for me to contemplate at the moment. I am very close to my dad and cannot imagine him not here.


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Hello everyone.  I am reading many posts on this forum and wondering if any Stage IV patients/friends are on chemo or are you all just on clinical trials for your brother is stage IV.  Thank god his brain and liver are clear but lung and G.I tract are involved.  He is finishing temodor and Abraxane. Had yervoy 12-2011. I don't see many of you on chemo in genral...except IL.  I don't see many on his chemo..temodor, abraxane

Many of you are on trials.  i would like him to consider Anti-PD1 but "time is of the Essence " as they say with melanoma.  time is not what you have when you are stage IV.  One day you have no mets to the brain and then the next few weeks...there it is.   How do you risk participating in a trial when you may have a placebo and not the real deal..and then it is too late...I think that I am missing info or mis-informed.  Appreciate any your advice.

Susan NY

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Hello All -

My Mom's first set of scans since toe amputation, groin lymph node disection (5 positive nodes), consultations with Hodi (Dana Farber) / Chapman (MSK) and radiation treatment are on Sunday the 10th.  This is almost 5 months after her first scanned used for staging (she was stage 3c).

Can you all think positive thoughts for her?  I am confident it will come back NED but I really appreciate all the positive vibes.

Thank you!!


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noisy77's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 6/8/2012 - 7:32pm
Replies by: Anonymous, susanr, noisy77, aldakota22

Hello All -

My Mom's first set of scans since toe amputation, groin lymph node disection (5 positive nodes), consultations with Hodi (Dana Farber) / Chapman (MSK) and radiation treatment are on Sunday the 10th.  This is almost 5 months after her first scanned used for staging (she was stage 3c).

Can you all think positive thoughts for her?  I am confident it will come back NED but I really appreciate all the positive vibes.

Thank you!!


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

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yoopergirl's picture
Replies 12
Last reply 6/8/2012 - 3:17pm

I had my cat scan yesterday and found that my lesion's are getting bigger and another one starting on my rib cage. I have been short of breath for over a week and that scan showed I have fluid between my lungs and heart. If it gets worst they will drain the fluid. I am having a couple of biopsies done on June 27th and a week later see the doctor so I can be put in a clinical trial. The trial is called Alpha Gal Trial, did a little searching online but not much info. Since I am Braf negative not much out there for me.

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Tim--MRF's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 6/5/2012 - 10:46pm
Replies by: AllyNTAus, noisy77

Another day of good data for melanoma.  Last year Genentech/Roche had their BRAF inhibitor (Zelboraf, or vemurafenib, or PLX40342 approved, and another company, Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) has been pushing to develop their drug.

In data presented today, the GSK showed similar results to Zelboraf, and possibly had fewer side effects.  They also showed positive results with a different drug, a MEK inhibitor.  And they showed data of the two being used together.  The combination is somewhat more effective than either alone.  Also, the BRAF inhibitors can sometimes cause squamous cell carcinomas.  in combination, that doesn't happen.

I had heard several months ago that GSK had planned to seek approval of the drugs in combination rather that seeking approval of each drug separately.  I learned today that this is not the case, so the combination therapy may be delayed a while.


On another front, I met with a company that is developing a new approach to sentinel node biopsy.  We all know the stories of people whose sentinel node was negative for tumor, but who still progressed.  I always thought that his is because the pathologist happened to evaluate the wrong slice of tissue, or possibly just missed the tumor cells.  Turns out that the current system injects a radioactive compound, followed by a blue die.  Those compounds run through the lymph system like a cup of food dye thrown into a stream.  Surgeons have to estimate when to do the surgery, in hopes they will catch both compounds after they have gotten to the sentinel node but before they have flowed out of that node and further downstream.  This works fairly well, but every patient has different flow/clearance rates.

This new company has a compound that binds to cells in the lymph nodes.  It goes into the sentinel node and sticks there for hours.  In Phase II studies, they showed a 99% rate of identifying sentinel nodes, vs about a 90% rate using the current system.  This means that 10% of patients whose melanoma has spread to the lymph system would be staged incorrectly in the current system but may now be staged properly under the new system.


Yesterday morning I attended a poster session.  This is where about 50-75 researchers have a large display of the work they are doing tacked onto a corkboard, and everyone walks by to look at the information and ask questions.  A lot of interesting new developments, but I was particularly struck by the fact that at least five researchers were showing data on uveal or ocular melanoma.  Last year's poster session had only one poster for this form of melanoma.


One final comment.  I am hearing a lot of talk about treatments for people who do not have the BRAF mutation.  Of course the immunotherapy drugs (Yervoy, anti-PD1, etc.) are available for these patients.  Still, more options are needed for what is about 60% of the population.  Most of the work is still early stage, but some things are looking interesting.


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Eileen L's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/5/2012 - 10:57pm
Replies by: kylez, Eileen L

Some of you may recall that I posted a number of weeks ago about my fight to get Kaiser to approve my participation in the Roche Braf/MEK trial.starts successful and started the trial almost three weeks ago. I Developed a rash last week, seen by the trial ONC who thought it was a MEK rash. Over the weekend rash got much worse, extending over most of my body. My legs now have big blotches on them where the rash has consolidated into patches and the rash is now on the mucous tissue of my mouth which is very painful. Of course my doctor is at the ASCO meetings, the on call oncologist prescribed some lidocaine mouthwash. I am pretty freaked out that I will be kicked off the trial, I see my regular ONC on Thursday.

Anyone else in a MEK trial that has had such an extensive rash? If so, what was done about it? I get a week off MEK starting on Thursday. Hoping the drug holiday will give my body time to adjust.

The good news is that earlier in the week I had a PET scan and the SUV of my tumor on my right adrenal went from 8.4 to 3.2! Also was having joint pain and fever/chills that have stopped!

Eileen L

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