- August 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Melanoma is not a death sentence. Your oncologist is using Chemotherapy to shed tumor-specific antigens for presentation on the Dendritic Cells (DCs). Scientists have recently identified a population of DCs (merocytic DCs [mcDCs]) that potently primes both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells to cell-associated Ags upon uptake of apoptotic cells.(dying cells). If activation of these T cells don't occur, it may be due to the surpressive function of the Tregs and the tumor microenviroment. Ipilimumab (Anti-CTLA-4) surpresses the Tregs fuction by blocking the B7 receptors. It is the "spark" needed to jumpstart you immune system to reconognize the Melanoma.
Yes, there is hope. We are near a major breakthrough, but we first have to verify the protocol.
if you want to read about a success story of a stage IV patient, please read "Melanoma and the Magic Bullet". The story starts on page 16. It is my story. It can be found at Meanoma Missionary site.
"Melanoma and the Magic Bullet"
"Today might be the worst day of your life…but tomorrow could be the best. You just have to get there."