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Re: Newly diagnosed Stage IV, just started Dacarbazine – Im …

    Hi Simone, So sorry to hear about your progression. My Husband was Stage I for 14 years before he progressed to Stage IV in Sep 08 when he was 35 years old. Like you there was no stage II or III so we were shocked to say the least. We too live in Melbourne and unfortunately we do not have the same options available to us that the US have however we do have most of the promising clinical trials available. My husband has now been on the GSK (Glaxo Smith Klein) BRAF inhibitor for 13 months  – he travels back and forth to Sydney for this trial and it has keept him stable so far. This is the only treatment he has done other than radiation to the spine and lung and surgery. Like you he has a lot to live for – we have a 5 year old and 3 year old… and alot of hope and dreams. There are other Melanoma oncologists you could see for a 2nd and 3rd opinion – Dr Ceebon and or Dr Davis at the Austin (they do their own trials as well so there may be something they are doing that interests you), Dr Ben Brady at Cabrini, Dr Grant McCarthar at Peter Mac – there are others however these are the ones my husband has seen and I can recommend. Many people have replied about IL2 unfortunately it is not available in Australia (drs do not beleive the benefits of this treatment outweigh the risks involved), nor is BioChemo for the same reasons. We do only have Chemo and the Clincial trials from my understanding and reading. A collegue of mine at work has a friend how was STAGE IV 5 years ago and did Fotomustine and has been cancer free for 5 years so far…. so you just never know what will work. It may be fate that you received Dacarbazine – you may be a responder…. The GSK BRAF trial in sydney that my husband is on is currently a phase I trial and hopefully phase II will be opening very shortly and I have read that there will be a Melbourne site so that is an option for you (with phase II you will receive the BRAF). If you need anymore info please email me. Tina

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