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Eric is struggling and wants to stop looking for treatments

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Eric is struggling and wants to stop looking for treatments

  • Post
    EricNJill
    Participant

      For those who don't know our story, Eric is Stage 4 with innumerable tumors in his right leg as well as tumors in his lymph nodes.  He has sub-cutaneous tumors and vascular skin tumors.  He has done High Dose Interferon, Carboplatin, Abraxane, and Avastin, High Dose IL-2, and a dendric cell vaccine.  His cancer progressed all through each of those treatments.  Now he is in between treatment and waiting to begin a Intralymphatic Vaccine treatment on September 20th. 

      For those who don't know our story, Eric is Stage 4 with innumerable tumors in his right leg as well as tumors in his lymph nodes.  He has sub-cutaneous tumors and vascular skin tumors.  He has done High Dose Interferon, Carboplatin, Abraxane, and Avastin, High Dose IL-2, and a dendric cell vaccine.  His cancer progressed all through each of those treatments.  Now he is in between treatment and waiting to begin a Intralymphatic Vaccine treatment on September 20th. 

      Eric is so discouraged.  We can see changes in his leg daily.  His vacular tumors are growing so fast and the sub-q tumors and putting pressure on his nerves and in the muscle.  He is been in treatment since February, 2009 and is growing very discouraged.  He wants to call it quits and it scares the hell out of me.  He is in so much pain every day.

      Is it selfish of me to talk him out of stopping the treatments?  I just don't know what to do.  I don't want him to give up because I think there may be something out there that will help him and I think it's hopeful that it hasn't spread outside his leg or lymph nodes.

      I need advice.  Thank you.  Jill

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    • Replies
        bill58
        Participant

          Jill,

          I know it is hard when things look bad.  Don't give up.  talk to the doctors about the pain.  There is a lot of medication out there that should help.  I just went through radiation treatment and they prescribed Vicodin and Gabapentin for the pain.  it helped.  Nobody should have to suffer through the pain when there are a variety of options available.

          I am not an expert on all of the options available since I have only been going through this nightmare since March 2010.

          My Melanoma oncologist is part of the IPI trial that is going on.  Have you discussed this with your dr?

          Have you have other blood test for HLA2? (I think that is what it is called).  If Eric is positive for HLA2, then there is a vaccine that NIH in Bethesda has available.

          Have his tumors been tested for the BRAF mutation?  Mine was and I am positive for the Braf mutation.  Luckily I am currently NED after surgery and radiation (ended last week) and have a PET scan scheduled for this Friday.  If I have a reoccurance of Melanoma, then the pill PXL4032 is probably the next avenue I will pursue.

          http://www.suite101.com/content/plx4032-targets-melanomas-with-braf-mutation-a167459

          There are still other options out there if you check out http://clinicaltrials.gov/.

          The doctors are researching different avenues all the time and what is available now was not available 5 years ago.  Hopefully what is available 5 years from now will be much improved over what is currently available.  We just have to keep at it to make sure we are around in 5 years to be able to take advantage of any new options as they become available.

          I know that Eric is in a bad place right now and things look bleak, but plenty of other people on this board have had it as bad or worse and keep trying other options to get better.  I know it is hard, but if he can get the pain under control, maybe his outlook will improve enough that he is ready to try something else.  Mel sucks.

          Good luck and God bless.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

          Bill

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          bill58
          Participant

            Jill,

            I know it is hard when things look bad.  Don't give up.  talk to the doctors about the pain.  There is a lot of medication out there that should help.  I just went through radiation treatment and they prescribed Vicodin and Gabapentin for the pain.  it helped.  Nobody should have to suffer through the pain when there are a variety of options available.

            I am not an expert on all of the options available since I have only been going through this nightmare since March 2010.

            My Melanoma oncologist is part of the IPI trial that is going on.  Have you discussed this with your dr?

            Have you have other blood test for HLA2? (I think that is what it is called).  If Eric is positive for HLA2, then there is a vaccine that NIH in Bethesda has available.

            Have his tumors been tested for the BRAF mutation?  Mine was and I am positive for the Braf mutation.  Luckily I am currently NED after surgery and radiation (ended last week) and have a PET scan scheduled for this Friday.  If I have a reoccurance of Melanoma, then the pill PXL4032 is probably the next avenue I will pursue.

            http://www.suite101.com/content/plx4032-targets-melanomas-with-braf-mutation-a167459

            There are still other options out there if you check out http://clinicaltrials.gov/.

            The doctors are researching different avenues all the time and what is available now was not available 5 years ago.  Hopefully what is available 5 years from now will be much improved over what is currently available.  We just have to keep at it to make sure we are around in 5 years to be able to take advantage of any new options as they become available.

            I know that Eric is in a bad place right now and things look bleak, but plenty of other people on this board have had it as bad or worse and keep trying other options to get better.  I know it is hard, but if he can get the pain under control, maybe his outlook will improve enough that he is ready to try something else.  Mel sucks.

            Good luck and God bless.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

            Bill

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            washoegal
            Participant

              Jill, you are not selfish!  If you were you would not have stayed in this battle with Eric.  Some Onc. are not geared toward pain management so you may need to ask for a referral.  If you can be proactive about the pain and get that at least bearable, hopefully Eric will begin to have a brighter outlook. 

              If you have followed Will's battle on this site you would realize that what Will is feeling is not unusual.  If he can see same progress or get relief from the pain, you will again see hope in his eyes.

               

              Hang in there.

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              washoegal
              Participant

                Jill, you are not selfish!  If you were you would not have stayed in this battle with Eric.  Some Onc. are not geared toward pain management so you may need to ask for a referral.  If you can be proactive about the pain and get that at least bearable, hopefully Eric will begin to have a brighter outlook. 

                If you have followed Will's battle on this site you would realize that what Will is feeling is not unusual.  If he can see same progress or get relief from the pain, you will again see hope in his eyes.

                 

                Hang in there.

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                jag
                Participant

                  Jill, what sometimes happens with a patient, is that they start having quality of life issues.  Rather than putting things in the perspective of fighting or quitting(black or white), it will probably make it easier to first address the things that are really bothering Eric, ie pain/things he still wants to do, etc.  Taking a break for a while is not the same as quitting, it is ok to take a time out and think, to evaluate all of the negative information you have been recieving with his treatments so far.  Sometimes that alone can get somebody back into a fighting spirit.  Figure out some things that you guys want(and can) do together, do those, and then go from there(think things through on a romantic weekend).  That way, you can enjoy life and make big decisions at the same time.

                  Best

                  John

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                  jag
                  Participant

                    Jill, what sometimes happens with a patient, is that they start having quality of life issues.  Rather than putting things in the perspective of fighting or quitting(black or white), it will probably make it easier to first address the things that are really bothering Eric, ie pain/things he still wants to do, etc.  Taking a break for a while is not the same as quitting, it is ok to take a time out and think, to evaluate all of the negative information you have been recieving with his treatments so far.  Sometimes that alone can get somebody back into a fighting spirit.  Figure out some things that you guys want(and can) do together, do those, and then go from there(think things through on a romantic weekend).  That way, you can enjoy life and make big decisions at the same time.

                    Best

                    John

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                    molly
                    Participant

                      Jill, I am so sorry ya'll are going through this. Being in pain and seeing one you love in pain is the worst. Is he on anything for pain now? Are you seeing a melanoma specialist?  Keep hope alive….maybe this next treatment will be the magic bullet for him. Hope you have some good support of family and friends near you…..a caretakers job is a tough one. 

                      Take care,

                      molly

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                      molly
                      Participant

                        Jill, I am so sorry ya'll are going through this. Being in pain and seeing one you love in pain is the worst. Is he on anything for pain now? Are you seeing a melanoma specialist?  Keep hope alive….maybe this next treatment will be the magic bullet for him. Hope you have some good support of family and friends near you…..a caretakers job is a tough one. 

                        Take care,

                        molly

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                        Jim in Denver
                        Participant

                          Jill,

                          Have you and Eric ruled out Ipilimumab?  It has shown promise and would be worth consideration.  He would seem to be eligible for the "compassionate use" trial, although there is not a site in Pittburgh.  For more information, look at :

                          http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00495066?term=ipilimumab&recr=Open&rank=8

                          Best wishes to both of you!

                          Jim

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                          Jim in Denver
                          Participant

                            Jill,

                            Have you and Eric ruled out Ipilimumab?  It has shown promise and would be worth consideration.  He would seem to be eligible for the "compassionate use" trial, although there is not a site in Pittburgh.  For more information, look at :

                            http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00495066?term=ipilimumab&recr=Open&rank=8

                            Best wishes to both of you!

                            Jim

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                            B
                            Participant

                              Jill-

                              I have a young wife who is also stage 4 and has been through numerosu treatments.  Like many have already said what about PLX or IPI.  My wife was on PLX for 6 months, and for that time it at least kept the disease from progressing.  This time allowed her to regain some strength and do some of the things she had been missing.  My wife has also had severe bouts with pain.  She wers a Fentanyl patch and takes morphine for breakthrough pain.  Depending on your doctor ask him or her for stronger pain medication.  If you can control the pain it definitely will help to change the attitude.  Best of luck

                              B

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                              B
                              Participant

                                Jill-

                                I have a young wife who is also stage 4 and has been through numerosu treatments.  Like many have already said what about PLX or IPI.  My wife was on PLX for 6 months, and for that time it at least kept the disease from progressing.  This time allowed her to regain some strength and do some of the things she had been missing.  My wife has also had severe bouts with pain.  She wers a Fentanyl patch and takes morphine for breakthrough pain.  Depending on your doctor ask him or her for stronger pain medication.  If you can control the pain it definitely will help to change the attitude.  Best of luck

                                B

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                                ValinMtl
                                Participant

                                  Hi Jill,

                                  I'm so sorry to hear about the pain that Eric is going through. As we have discussed, I am running a similar course with 100s of cutaneous tumors on my leg and just having scans am worried that there is more progression than that, waiting.  I know you mentioned Dr. Weber discussed B-RAF..that was going to be the first option for me..but I was negative.  I have heard that the treatment is not too 'tough', I like Eric will be trying ipi now within a few weeks. 

                                  Why doesn't Eric take a 'break' for a few weeks, ask Dr. Weber to refer him to a 'pain' specialist while they test one of his tumors from surgery for the B-RAF mutation. It will give him much needed time to recoop from all this pain.

                                  Also during our discussions a few months ago, somebody wrote that their family member had the same progression as ours and they were doing a clinical trial in Fort Myers that appears to be working well.

                                  "Study of Everolimus With Paclitaxel and Carboplatin in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma"

                                  I know it includes Carbpolatin which Eric has taken but the study is largely about Everolimus..I don't know much about this but perhaps you can speak to Dr. Weber about this as well.

                                  I wish both you and Eric a successful treatment and much less pain.  Val

                                   

                                   
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                                    ValinMtl
                                    Participant

                                      Oops, just re-read and noticed that Eric might be trying a new trial already, anyways keep these in mind. In the meantime, try to get some help (if possible!!) for the pain, that's what is so tough. Val xx

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                                      ValinMtl
                                      Participant

                                        Oops, just re-read and noticed that Eric might be trying a new trial already, anyways keep these in mind. In the meantime, try to get some help (if possible!!) for the pain, that's what is so tough. Val xx

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                                        EricNJill
                                        Participant

                                          Thank you all for the replies!  Eric is B-RAF positive and also the HLA type 2 positive.  He is currently on 25 mcg of Fentynal Patch.  He is unable to take Vicoden, Oxycodone and Oxycotin, but the Fentynal does seem to help.  We asked his specialist if he should start IPI or a BRAF trial but his specialist wanted him to do this trial first.  He said it made more sense for Eric's disease and his specialist is extremely good so we trust his opinion.

                                          Eric is just getting really tired of it all and not seeing any results.  He is vomitting quite often (it's something that he's prone to do and it's progressively getting worse even without treatments).  Last night it woke him up at 3 a.m. and he was pretty ill. 

                                          I think he's depressed but I can't convince him to go back to the doctor and get new medicine. He's currently taking 40 mg of Celexa and they added Cymbalta but he won't take the Cymbalta because he said it makes him feel weird.  He won't go back to the doctor or talk to a counselor because he's tired of seeing doctors.

                                          I just don't know what to do.  I feel like I'm losing him everyday.  Even though he's here, it's not him.  He's very angry and sick of being sick.  He wants to just give up and it's killing me. 

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                                          EricNJill
                                          Participant

                                            Thank you all for the replies!  Eric is B-RAF positive and also the HLA type 2 positive.  He is currently on 25 mcg of Fentynal Patch.  He is unable to take Vicoden, Oxycodone and Oxycotin, but the Fentynal does seem to help.  We asked his specialist if he should start IPI or a BRAF trial but his specialist wanted him to do this trial first.  He said it made more sense for Eric's disease and his specialist is extremely good so we trust his opinion.

                                            Eric is just getting really tired of it all and not seeing any results.  He is vomitting quite often (it's something that he's prone to do and it's progressively getting worse even without treatments).  Last night it woke him up at 3 a.m. and he was pretty ill. 

                                            I think he's depressed but I can't convince him to go back to the doctor and get new medicine. He's currently taking 40 mg of Celexa and they added Cymbalta but he won't take the Cymbalta because he said it makes him feel weird.  He won't go back to the doctor or talk to a counselor because he's tired of seeing doctors.

                                            I just don't know what to do.  I feel like I'm losing him everyday.  Even though he's here, it's not him.  He's very angry and sick of being sick.  He wants to just give up and it's killing me. 

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                                            ValinMtl
                                            Participant

                                              Jil, the vomiting would be tough.  Is he on anything for it.  I was prescribed sandoz ondansentron for nausea during temodar and believe me it worked, tried one day without it..not good!  Ask Dr. Weber if it would help.  Val

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                                              ValinMtl
                                              Participant

                                                Jil, the vomiting would be tough.  Is he on anything for it.  I was prescribed sandoz ondansentron for nausea during temodar and believe me it worked, tried one day without it..not good!  Ask Dr. Weber if it would help.  Val

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                                              ValinMtl
                                              Participant

                                                Hi Jill,

                                                I'm so sorry to hear about the pain that Eric is going through. As we have discussed, I am running a similar course with 100s of cutaneous tumors on my leg and just having scans am worried that there is more progression than that, waiting.  I know you mentioned Dr. Weber discussed B-RAF..that was going to be the first option for me..but I was negative.  I have heard that the treatment is not too 'tough', I like Eric will be trying ipi now within a few weeks. 

                                                Why doesn't Eric take a 'break' for a few weeks, ask Dr. Weber to refer him to a 'pain' specialist while they test one of his tumors from surgery for the B-RAF mutation. It will give him much needed time to recoop from all this pain.

                                                Also during our discussions a few months ago, somebody wrote that their family member had the same progression as ours and they were doing a clinical trial in Fort Myers that appears to be working well.

                                                "Study of Everolimus With Paclitaxel and Carboplatin in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma"

                                                I know it includes Carbpolatin which Eric has taken but the study is largely about Everolimus..I don't know much about this but perhaps you can speak to Dr. Weber about this as well.

                                                I wish both you and Eric a successful treatment and much less pain.  Val

                                                 

                                                 
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                                                James from Sydney
                                                Participant

                                                  Hi Jill

                                                  sorry to hear of your situation. I know of many on this Board who in the most desperate position actually turn the corner. One notable person is Mark from Catskills, who had progressed so far with Mel that he was confined to a wheel chair. Ippi changed his life. Tell Eric to read his old posts.

                                                  See if you can get into an Ippi trial. In the short term  you might like to look up Oncovex who have a Trial that is for tumors that can be directly injected. It is a vrus combined with GMCSF which helps boost the immune system.

                                                  best wishes

                                                  James

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                                                  James from Sydney
                                                  Participant

                                                    Hi Jill

                                                    sorry to hear of your situation. I know of many on this Board who in the most desperate position actually turn the corner. One notable person is Mark from Catskills, who had progressed so far with Mel that he was confined to a wheel chair. Ippi changed his life. Tell Eric to read his old posts.

                                                    See if you can get into an Ippi trial. In the short term  you might like to look up Oncovex who have a Trial that is for tumors that can be directly injected. It is a vrus combined with GMCSF which helps boost the immune system.

                                                    best wishes

                                                    James

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                                                    Nancy
                                                    Participant

                                                      Hi Jill and Eric,

                                                      I am so sorry that you're having to deal with all that's happening to you right now.   I do hope you will find peace and comfort in God's love.  I am having to seek that same kind of peace, it is so hard to understand why things are as they are.  I'm sure Eric is glad that you're there for him.  Being a care giver to a loved one has to be one of the most difficult things ever.

                                                      I love you both, and I'll keep you in my prayers…

                                                      Nancy 

                                                       

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                                                      Nancy
                                                      Participant

                                                        Hi Jill and Eric,

                                                        I am so sorry that you're having to deal with all that's happening to you right now.   I do hope you will find peace and comfort in God's love.  I am having to seek that same kind of peace, it is so hard to understand why things are as they are.  I'm sure Eric is glad that you're there for him.  Being a care giver to a loved one has to be one of the most difficult things ever.

                                                        I love you both, and I'll keep you in my prayers…

                                                        Nancy 

                                                         

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                                                        Jill and Eric in Fl
                                                        Participant

                                                          Hi Jill, I am so sorry to hear this but totally understand what you are going through, as you know my Eric just got out of the hospital after 6 days. Now that the pain is better, he says to give him a day or two and he will be  back in the fight. Pain really was hard on him and he was unable to see anything past the pain. I am also sorry it appears some posters are getting us mixed up, I think I read someone mentioned Dr Weber to you, I know it is confusing having both of us on here with the same names. The pallitive care team really took care of the pain for my Eric hopefully afer a few days of rest we can get back in the fight. Dr Weber said tonight if we did nothing at all Eric would be dead in 4 months so we are going to keep fighting and praying but first we are going to take a few pain free days and just regroup, refocus and love one another. Please ask for a pain sepcialist, your Eric should not have to suffer so much even if he decides to not continue treatment. It is not selfish to want him to keep fighting but as I know you know his quality is most important, I think once you get a pain team involved, even if they put him on heavy meds like they did for my Eric you will see the light back in his eyes and maybe the fight back in his step. I am always praying for you guys and I am here if you need me.

                                                          Love

                                                          Jill

                                                          (the other Jill and Eric)

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                                                          Jill and Eric in Fl
                                                          Participant

                                                            Hi Jill, I am so sorry to hear this but totally understand what you are going through, as you know my Eric just got out of the hospital after 6 days. Now that the pain is better, he says to give him a day or two and he will be  back in the fight. Pain really was hard on him and he was unable to see anything past the pain. I am also sorry it appears some posters are getting us mixed up, I think I read someone mentioned Dr Weber to you, I know it is confusing having both of us on here with the same names. The pallitive care team really took care of the pain for my Eric hopefully afer a few days of rest we can get back in the fight. Dr Weber said tonight if we did nothing at all Eric would be dead in 4 months so we are going to keep fighting and praying but first we are going to take a few pain free days and just regroup, refocus and love one another. Please ask for a pain sepcialist, your Eric should not have to suffer so much even if he decides to not continue treatment. It is not selfish to want him to keep fighting but as I know you know his quality is most important, I think once you get a pain team involved, even if they put him on heavy meds like they did for my Eric you will see the light back in his eyes and maybe the fight back in his step. I am always praying for you guys and I am here if you need me.

                                                            Love

                                                            Jill

                                                            (the other Jill and Eric)

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                                                              EricNJill
                                                              Participant

                                                                Jill, please don't apologize for the mix up!  I actually tried to create a login for JillnEric in Ohio but since I created this EricNJill a long time ago it was already attached to my email address so I had to use it.  I thought we might get confused.  My heart goes out to you guys.  I hope that the progression is actually the IPI working and they soon will shrink to nothing!

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                                                                EricNJill
                                                                Participant

                                                                  Jill, please don't apologize for the mix up!  I actually tried to create a login for JillnEric in Ohio but since I created this EricNJill a long time ago it was already attached to my email address so I had to use it.  I thought we might get confused.  My heart goes out to you guys.  I hope that the progression is actually the IPI working and they soon will shrink to nothing!

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                                                                jim Breitfeller
                                                                Participant

                                                                  Jill, Base on Eric's medical history, it looks like the therapies are not breaking the tolerance of the immune system. Once the tumors take hold they secrete immunosuppressive cytokines allowing them (tumors) to control the microenviroment.

                                                                  The therapy that is needed is one that breaks the tolerance of the Tregs. Ipilimumab may be that therapy.

                                                                  Tregs

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

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                                                                  jim Breitfeller
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    Jill, Base on Eric's medical history, it looks like the therapies are not breaking the tolerance of the immune system. Once the tumors take hold they secrete immunosuppressive cytokines allowing them (tumors) to control the microenviroment.

                                                                    The therapy that is needed is one that breaks the tolerance of the Tregs. Ipilimumab may be that therapy.

                                                                    Tregs

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

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                                                                    jim Breitfeller
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      Jill, Base on Eric's medical history, it looks like the therapies are not breaking the tolerance of the immune system. Once the tumors take hold they secrete immunosuppressive cytokines allowing them (tumors) to control the microenviroment.

                                                                      The therapy that is needed is one that breaks the tolerance of the Tregs. Ipilimumab may be that therapy.

                                                                      Tregs

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                       

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                                                                      jim Breitfeller
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Jill, Base on Eric's medical history, it looks like the therapies are not breaking the tolerance of the immune system. Once the tumors take hold they secrete immunosuppressive cytokines allowing them (tumors) to control the microenviroment.

                                                                        The therapy that is needed is one that breaks the tolerance of the Tregs. Ipilimumab may be that therapy.

                                                                        Tregs

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                         

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                                                                        cstratos
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          Jill,

                                                                          Is Eric BRAF positive? Have you considered PLX4032. 60% of all melanoma cancers are BRAF positive, and PLX4032 has an 80 to 90% probability of shrinking the tumors.  I have stage 4. I started PLX4032 February 28, 2010 and it has reduced my tumors by 54%. It has relatively few side effects. It would be worth a shot. My strategy is to allow it to shrink my cancer as much as possible, or kill it, and if it stops working shift over to ipilimibaub and hope to manage or kill it.  Ipi will likely be FDA approved by the end of the year, and PLX4032 will likely be FDA approved by the end of 2011. 

                                                                          See this link: http://www.melanoma.org/learn-more/melanoma-101/american-society-clinical-oncology-asco-june-2010-update

                                                                          Cheryl

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                                                                          cstratos
                                                                          Participant

                                                                            Jill,

                                                                            Is Eric BRAF positive? Have you considered PLX4032. 60% of all melanoma cancers are BRAF positive, and PLX4032 has an 80 to 90% probability of shrinking the tumors.  I have stage 4. I started PLX4032 February 28, 2010 and it has reduced my tumors by 54%. It has relatively few side effects. It would be worth a shot. My strategy is to allow it to shrink my cancer as much as possible, or kill it, and if it stops working shift over to ipilimibaub and hope to manage or kill it.  Ipi will likely be FDA approved by the end of the year, and PLX4032 will likely be FDA approved by the end of 2011. 

                                                                            See this link: http://www.melanoma.org/learn-more/melanoma-101/american-society-clinical-oncology-asco-june-2010-update

                                                                            Cheryl

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                                                                            Lauren mom to Jenna
                                                                            Participant

                                                                              You have a great option with the BRAF inhibitor drug.  There is a better response rate to this drug than any other.  With a BRAF mutation, he has an 80% chance of seeing results.  These results are quick and amazing.  Unfortunately, it takes months to know if ipi is effective, and he will likely feel worse in the meantime.  This is all relatively new, so your specialist may not have first hand experience with the inhibitor drugs.  

                                                                               

                                                                              Lauren (mom to Jenna)  

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                                                                                EricNJill
                                                                                Participant

                                                                                  We are cautous about going the B-RAF route because we've heard that after about 8 months the Melanoma comes back and it comes back fierce, usually in the Brain.  We feel that since Eric's disease hasn't gone to any major organs yet we didn't want to go that route until they have another drug with the PLX4032 that stops the melanoma from mutating months later. 

                                                                                  Eric's specialist thought was that he should try this Intralymphatic Treatment then if it didn't work he could go on to IPI.

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                                                                                  Kevin from Atlanta
                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                    Jill,

                                                                                    Sorry to hear, he need to see the onc for the pain and nausea.

                                                                                    I am concerned that you used the term " Intralymphatic Vaccine "

                                                                                    I have never seen a study where a vaccine has shown tumor regression.

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                                                                                    Kevin from Atlanta
                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                      Jill,

                                                                                      Sorry to hear, he need to see the onc for the pain and nausea.

                                                                                      I am concerned that you used the term " Intralymphatic Vaccine "

                                                                                      I have never seen a study where a vaccine has shown tumor regression.

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                                                                                      EricNJill
                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                        We are cautous about going the B-RAF route because we've heard that after about 8 months the Melanoma comes back and it comes back fierce, usually in the Brain.  We feel that since Eric's disease hasn't gone to any major organs yet we didn't want to go that route until they have another drug with the PLX4032 that stops the melanoma from mutating months later. 

                                                                                        Eric's specialist thought was that he should try this Intralymphatic Treatment then if it didn't work he could go on to IPI.

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                                                                                        amybusby
                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                          I am not familiar with the treatment your specialist is recommending but like Jenna's mom I can not recommend BRAF inhibitors enough.  The 8 months I had were awesome – I felt GREAT.  And I would not trade that time for anything – even knowing that when it finally recurred it was in the central nervous system.  The benefits are that you know immediately (practically) if it's working.  That kind of painfree  /  good energy time could be what he needs to gain strength /. perspective / a plan.  And looking at a worse case situation the quality time he might gain could create a lasting memory for all that is priceless.

                                                                                          praying for you both,

                                                                                          Amy

                                                                                          PS – In my darkest moment, dying from bio chem I cried out to God to save me or kill me.  I refused to do any more bio chem and was about to yank my CVC in the lobby if they didn't comply with my wishes, lol.  They know me – I'd have done it.  So I started over looking for a plan and the GSK BRAF trial was rolled out for me on a red carpet.  It gained me some of the best months of my life and now over a year later against all odds I am still here fighting.  Feeling remarkably well for a woman with 2-4 months to live.

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                                                                                          amybusby
                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                            I am not familiar with the treatment your specialist is recommending but like Jenna's mom I can not recommend BRAF inhibitors enough.  The 8 months I had were awesome – I felt GREAT.  And I would not trade that time for anything – even knowing that when it finally recurred it was in the central nervous system.  The benefits are that you know immediately (practically) if it's working.  That kind of painfree  /  good energy time could be what he needs to gain strength /. perspective / a plan.  And looking at a worse case situation the quality time he might gain could create a lasting memory for all that is priceless.

                                                                                            praying for you both,

                                                                                            Amy

                                                                                            PS – In my darkest moment, dying from bio chem I cried out to God to save me or kill me.  I refused to do any more bio chem and was about to yank my CVC in the lobby if they didn't comply with my wishes, lol.  They know me – I'd have done it.  So I started over looking for a plan and the GSK BRAF trial was rolled out for me on a red carpet.  It gained me some of the best months of my life and now over a year later against all odds I am still here fighting.  Feeling remarkably well for a woman with 2-4 months to live.

                                                                                            Loading spinner
                                                                                          Lauren mom to Jenna
                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                            You have a great option with the BRAF inhibitor drug.  There is a better response rate to this drug than any other.  With a BRAF mutation, he has an 80% chance of seeing results.  These results are quick and amazing.  Unfortunately, it takes months to know if ipi is effective, and he will likely feel worse in the meantime.  This is all relatively new, so your specialist may not have first hand experience with the inhibitor drugs.  

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Lauren (mom to Jenna)  

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                                                                                        The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

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