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I’m new to this forum, I hope you can help me.
My name is Isaac, I am from Mexico, and for more than a year I have accompanied my wife in her fight against melanoma cancer.
It started in the skin of her neck, later spread to a lymph node, so she had lymph node dissection surgery on the left side of her neck. After surgery, the surrounding tissue began to grow abnormally, so the tissue was removed. He is currently in stage 4 since the melanoma has metastasized to the lung.
In September she started with immunotherapy based on Nivolumab + Ipilimumab, however, she continues to have abnormal tissue that grows in the neck scar, so the oncologist suggested a new surgery, however, I have investigated, and found that there is a therapy with IMLYGIC ® (Talimogene Laherparepvec), which can be an alternative to surgery, but is not available in Mexico.
My question is, does anyone have experience with this therapy? Do you know of any place where I can access this therapy in the United States as a Mexican?
Hello, I am sorry to hear this. My primary is on my neck as well.
I am not familiar with the treatment but Los Angeles does have multiple doctors who work on research trials and do a lot of cutting edge treatment melanoma. Dr. Hamid/Angeles Clinic/Cedars Sinai https://www.theangelesclinic.org/meet-our-team/doctors/ and I can’t recall the name of the UCLA doctor but he heads the practice there and does a lot of research. https://www.uclahealth.org/cancer/cancer-services/skin-cancer. They actually do a lot of research together. Many Melanoma Oncologists will consult/direct regarding cutting edge treatment so I think they could assist you with this protocol or suggest something that would be more effective.
The therapy you mention is also known as TVEC or T-VEC, so if you search on this website for TVEC you will find more information. Also there have been some recent clinical studies in melanoma using this and you can find the results on Google.
For me it worked. Immunotherapy did not work for me, slow progression of disease, but when they added TVEC to the keytruda immunotherapy then i started to respond. So it was a miracle cure, but for me. My sense is that it works well when immunotherapy is almost working but not quite, and then TVEC gives it an extra kick. My sense also is it works better for local cancer rather than one which has spread, but its also possible it can work in this case too. My doctor was not able to do the TVEC but fortunately I found a doctor who would, so I switched doctors (against my will) and got really lucky!!! (And of course am very thankful to the doctor who maybe saved my life!).
I have no idea how you would obtain the treatment. For me, my insurance said it would cover, then said no, then said yes again. So it might be difficult to obtain.
Ask your doctors opinion, but maybe s/he has better options
I was treated with TVEC in 2017 for 3 tumors in my lower leg. I remained stable for a short time-5 months and then was on Opdivo for 2 years. I wish your wife much luck!
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