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      Greetings all! Just had scans and am 1 year NED (again but I’ll so happily take it!)

      However, blood work shows a high TSH (7.8), though my other thyroid tests (such as T4) are normal. Since my one dose of ipi/nivo, I’ve lost adrenal function/ability to create cortisol and am on a permanent maintenance dose of hydrocortisone to replace it. Could the ipi/nivo also have affected my thyroid or could it be related to my lack of natural cortisol? I don’t have any symptoms of low thyroid so am quite puzzled.

      Very best to all of you amazing survivors AND stellar caretakers,



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          Hi Cindy,

          It is definitely not uncommon for immunotherapy to affect the thyroid. I received Nivolumab monotherapy. My thyroid before extremely overactive after the first treatment (hyperthyroid). After about a month, my thyroid basically stopped working and I became hypothyroid. My TSH shot up to about 80. I started on synthroid (levothyroxine). Eventually my TSH came back in range with a dose of 200 mcg of synthroid. I’ve been off of nivolumab for 6 months now, so it appears by thyroid was permanently damaged by the immunotherapy.

            Thanks, Steve33! Hope you are feeling well.



            Rick from NC
              Hi, Cindy,

              Not sure how much it relates, but back in 1992 when I received IL-2 for my melanoma, I ended up hypothyroid and went on Synthroid for 1-2 years as I recall.  My thyroid gradually recovered, and I’ve been euthyroid ever since.

              Best wishes, Rick

                Yikes, I guess if I ever had to have treatment I’d be confined to bed.

                My TSH hit 56 (not 5.6) during Swine Flu. Been on Levothyroxine ever since 2009.

                Chris R
                  I just finished 3 of the 4 cycles of ipi/nivo. I had to stop mainly due to colitis. More to the point, it appears it has impacted my Thyroid as well. I go to the endocrinologist today. I will likely have to be on a thyroid medication the rest of my life. Not ideal, but lets hope I have to take that medication for a very long time. 🙂

                  I am to understand 20M people have to deal with thyroid issues, so we are not alone.

                  Sarah L.
                    Hello, after being on Yervoy and Opdivo I started seeing significant changes in my thyroid numbers. Eventually I was diagnosed with Hypophysitis. This was identified as an adverse effect of the immunotherapy drugs. I am currently only on Opdivo.
                    My last CT scan indicated my thyroid has completely atrophied. My TSH remains below 0.
                    IMPORTANT: I recommend you develop a very good relationship with your Endocrinologist and that there is a proactive open dialogue between your Endo. and your Oncologist.
                    There are other factors to measure which track changes in Thyroid, for example ACTH and Cortisol levels, T4. All these changes must be viewed in entirety.
                    When I have lab work done prior to my monthly infusions they measure TSH but not ACTH. (That is done by the Endocrinologist.)It takes persistence to stay on top of the bloodwork trends, ask questions and get someone to do something about it as needed. I keep a graph of all indicators.
                    In retrospect I would have been more diligent EARLIER in requesting an endocrinologist who specifically had a track record of working closely with an oncologist. Some cancer centers consider this a holistic approach. But in my case, I have have had to drive this.

                    Note: You know best how you are feeling. I suggest adjusting your Levothroxene/ Synthroid or other Thyroid meds until you find a new normal you, ha! and your numbers appear steady. By the way, I would encourage you to try to schedule more frequent appointments with your Endocrinologist. Mine wants to meet every 4 months! This is a LONG time interval when you have cancer, and are undergoing so many changes in your body.
                    I hope this information is helpful. It is hard enough dealing with having cancer but the unexpected addition of adverse infusion-related side effects and associated thyroid issues requires personal resolve and dedication to find a solution. I do feel better now. So hang in there and sort it out.
                    Best of success to you.
                    Sarah L.

                    Dr Mayank Somani
                      At the base of the neck, just below Adam’s apple, is the thyroid, a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland. Thyroxine (T-4) and triiodothyronine are the two primary hormones produced by the thyroid gland (T-3). Every cell in the body is influenced by these hormones. They support how quickly the body consumes carbohydrates and lipids.
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