As the wife and caregiver for my husband’s stage 4 melanoma I feel obligated to ALL of you to post this information about T-Vec or (Imlygic) which should NOT be used on large tumors!!! I see that my posting back in 2017 has been removed, also removed from any “Google Search,” probably by Amgen Pharmaceuticals or FCS as it might affect their sales/profits. After retiring to SW Florida at age 62 we were referred to Florida Cancer Specialists for my husband’s cancer treatments. Melanoma was first diagnosed in MN 2010 behind a mole on his right calf, surgery was done immediately and the cancer quickly spread to his lymph nodes in the right groin. Surgery was done again at Methodist Hospital and the cancer removed from the groin area. A new tumor started to grow at the surgery site next to the main artery. When we left MN for retirement to SW Florida the new tumor was the size of a walnut. The doctor at Florida Cancer Specialists tried a whole group of different immunotherapies, each time we would visit her she measured the tumor until a year later it had grown to emass his whole thigh…Huge! Why were we not referred to Moffitt at this point????
- August 27, 2019 at 5:55 pm
I was panicked and searched the web every evening to find the latest information on new drugs available to shrink the tumor. In 2017 I found a new medication, T-Vec – IMLYGIC (talimogene laherparepvec) that was supposed to help. Three doctors, two from FCS and one from Mayo Clinic Rochester MN, approved of the Imlygic vaccinations (7 sessions of 4 vac) to be given directly into the massive tumor. My husband wanted to document how the tumor would shrink and had me take photos of the procedures. Within a few months the tumor exploded and tore through the skin at the site of his previous surgery and formed a Huge Black mushroom of necrotic tissue at the right groin!!!!
His doctor at FCS didn’t seem concerned. I took him to 4 surgeons in the area who refused to de-bride the narcotic tissue as they said, “he could bleed to death” if they came near the main artery in the leg. We got on the next flight to MN and drove to Rochester Mayo to see if they could do anything for him. After two oncology surgeons saw him they wanted the Ortheopedic surgeon to view the tumor. The Ortheopedic surgeon came in and said, “the leg needs to come off up to the hip” I was horrified that this was happening to him! Wanting a second opinion, I brought him back to SW Florida and was going to bring him to Moffitt Cancer Center (EXCELLENT) He ended up in local hospitals with Sepsis 4 times, then had a stroke before I was able to get him to Moffitt where he had his right leg removed to the hip. Moffitt literally saved his life!
After the leg was removed I looked at the Amgen Pharmeceudical website and found information on giving T-Vec treatment, it states: NOT to be used if the patient has had previous surgery at the injection site!!!
Why, when 3 doctors had this information in their files about his previous surgeries did they miss this?????
I have nothing but praise for Moffitt Cancer Center and the wonderful doctors and staff there, nothing less than excellent!!!
This is the ONLY warning on Amgen’s website – One patient had to have an amputation?????? I think more like hundreds of Patients! This is NOT adequate Amgen!!!!!!
- August 27, 2019 at 6:32 pm
5.3 Injection Site Complications
Necrosis or ulceration of tumor tissue may occur during IMLYGIC treatment. Cellulitis and systemic
bacterial infection have been reported in clinical studies. Careful wound care and infection precautions
are recommended, particularly if tissue necrosis results in open wounds.
In clinical studies, impaired healing at the injection site has been reported. IMLYGIC may increase the
risk of impaired healing in patients with underlying risk factors (e.g., previous radiation at the injection
site or lesions in poorly vascularized areas). One patient had an amputation of a lower extremity 6 months
after IMLYGIC injection due to an infected non-healing wound. This wound area had been treated with
surgery and radiation prior to IMLYGIC treatment and had previous wound complications.
BubblesParticipantI’m sorry for what you and your husband have been through. However, I don’t think any of your post have been removed here. Is the 2017 post you are referring to?
- August 28, 2019 at 12:31 am
I wish you both my best. Celeste
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