MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

Register Login Help

The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

The information on the bulletin board is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

Expand/ Collapse Topic
Replies By
View Topic
lhaley's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 1/30/2011 - 10:00am

I go to a melanoma specialist and a local oncologist. Last visit to Charlotte the PET/CT scan showed a slow growing nodule on the lung. I go in 2 weeks to have another PET/CT.  Meanwhile I went yesterday to my local oncologist. She did blood work and just called.  My liver functions are off.  The ALT is 178. In Nov. it was 40.  The Alkaline Phos. was 140 - she said that was high also, did not catch what it was in Nov. 

I am on Zocor 80mg for cholesteral, she said that could be why, but then why wouldn't it have been high in Nov!!!   I've actually been off for 2 weeks because I also have mastitis and have been on 2 different courses of antibiotics. Erithromycin 1600 mg a day, and then the z-pack. Zocor and Erithromycin do not work well together. No one warned me at first so for about 6 days I was on them together.  I'm allergic to most antibiotics so that was why those were chosen - they didn't work and am being referred to an infectious disease Dr.    Could the antibiotics cause the high numbers??

She is having me come back next week to redo the bloodwork. She never calls, always has her nurse call so I know this is not normal.

Can anyone give me some insight?  I had been able to keep my anxiety in check for the next PET but it's off the charts right now!


Login or register to post replies.

bball's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 1/31/2011 - 9:42am
Replies by: bball, triciad

I have ruled out 1yr interferon treatment. However,when i look at some of the trials like Rusciani it seems worthwhile to at least try it for 30 days to extend chances of DFS.(or has this study been shown not to be valid). Any experiances or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Login or register to post replies.

Jaime.30's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 1/30/2011 - 1:03am
Replies by: Jaime.30, lhaley

Hi!  I just wanted to post a little update and say thank you for all of you who offered a kind word during my freak out posts last month.  My husband Eston is doing great.  After a few CT scans on his neck and a follow up MRI on his brain there is no sign of Melanoma still.  It has been a busy stressful almost 2 years but we NEVER take forgranted how lucky and blessed we are that he is NED and that the crainotomy found no melanoma.  He is back to work and we are trying as hard as we can to just live life.  Sadly Eston's father passed away from a heart attack a month ago but we were very touched that his mother decided to list MRF in the obituary to send donations to.  Eston's dad would want a cure for his son and for others fighting this cancer.  We know of at least 3 donations made and this means the world to us!!  Every little bit helps.

Login or register to post replies.

LynnLuc's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 1/28/2011 - 4:14pm

About Linda S in Florida (stage 4 melanoma). My best buddy! Linda had surgery today at Moffitt.They were planning on removing a 5 inch area which was thought to be infection or melanoma..Surgery over-doing fine considering...she has her happy pump which keeps her sleeping.

-growth in intestine was larger than expected...took out 1/2 of large intestines...cancer was everywhere...all of ascending is gone and 1/2 of transverse...that is 3/4 of large intestines. Melanoma was size of grapefruit that they removed...
They couldn't remove it all because it is wrapped around the intestine and major arteries...will do trial after she recovers using her melanoma cells...
They were also hoping to tray and remove  two around her stomach in a fatty layer since they were in there but couldn't...too close to major vessels...

The one in her lungs remains about size of golf ball ( was size of grapefruit) and one remains under her arm...she managed to stage on the YM-155-docetaxel-longer then anyone on the trial...11 cycles. She has Rheumatoid Arthritis ( an auto immune disease) which keeps her from doing any immunotherapy! pray for her please...

Login or register to post replies.

glewis923's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 1/29/2011 - 8:50am

Had MRI this AM.  at 2;00 my dr. called for "family" mtg.  have 2 five mm tumors on back lft.., 1 smaller in Thalamus, another in Ganglion area.  This sux, but i've been bracing myself for progression.  

Question:  All cyber- knife/stereostatic veterans:  did any of you have this many zapped away- in these diverse places,  AND did it "kill" them or did more simply appear?   Will find out tomorrow my options on ciber-knife and WBR (whole brain radiation)....BUT....I've come to the conclusion that many of you can give me better and straighter answers than many of the Drs' can-  so your input is valued.

Thanks and Love ALL-  Grady & Family.

I'm Here for Now, I've got the rest of my life to die; and if so, old age could be overated and God does exist.

Login or register to post replies.

adgesoph's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 2/8/2011 - 7:20pm

My dad has stage 1V melanoma (braf positive), just finished up 2 rounds of Interleukin-2 and it didn't work (no real surprise there) so now his doctor is looking into either ipi or PLX4032.  Which one is best?  Pros and Cons?  What would you do if you were in his shoes?   I want to help my dad anyway I can and need to know the ins and outs of all this stuff so we can make the best choice.  Please help!  Thank you!



Login or register to post replies.

Replies by: Anonymous

Hi there everyone,

Ive just started taking PLX4032 (4 days ago) as part of the BRIM 3 Trial.  When I first went on this trial back in July, I was randomized to recieve treatment with Dacarbazine (DTIC) , which didnt help me at all. I recieved it for about 5 rounds, when we discovered that my disease was progressing.  Then for a few months I went untreated, while I tried to sign up to other trials (focusing on the V600E BRAF Mutation), only to be knocked back for not meeting criteria by the slimmest of margins.  I then went on to the compassionate use of IPI, with no success either.

So, Im finally getting the treatment that I've so desperately been waiting for, and I am positive that it is going to be the one that is going to work for me.  I just know it, and have faith in its ability to put my disease in the rubbish bin, where it belongs!!  I do know a lot about this pill, its tendency to only work for a certain amount of time, etc, but with this disease, I am living for today. and if I can go through months of 'todays' in remission, without having to worry about this horrible disease then I would be so thankful and happy.  Then when and if a bad 'today' happpens in the future, then I must find and have faith in another treatment......  but for now, I live for TODAY! :-)

So, what I would like to know about is other patients experiences on this pill? 

Did you get any initial side effects when you first started taking it? & did they pass? 

How soon did you see a response?  & what to look for, in regards to it working or not?

How well did it work for you? 

What have been the worst side effects of this drug overall? 

If it worked for you, how long did it keep melanoma at bay?

If it worked for you initially but then stopped, what road did you travel down next?

I'd really appreciate it if some of you wonderfully caring, strong, inspirational people out there would share your experiences and knowledge with me.  Because although Ive read a lot of info on the net, its still 'text book' information as far as I'm concerned.  Its based on statistics and the typical experience.  Im NOT a statistic and neither are any of you!  Im an individual and would like to find out other individuals personal stories and real life experiences.

Thanking you all in advance and sending you all much love and light to guide each of  you out there in MPIP Land on this extremely cruel, lousy and bloody rough journey we're all on.....

love Simmy from Oz   xoxo

Login or register to post replies.

annaoc's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 1/28/2011 - 10:06am

Don't post often, but when I was in the thick of diagnosis, surgery, etc. I went on the bulletin board A LOT to read success stories. Hoping this gives at least one person a little hope! Clear scans; NED and I are still happily together!

Login or register to post replies.

Thinking about you and praying for peace for you.  I know  how you feel as I am going down the same journey.  It's hard.

Take Care,

Sherron, wife to Jim FOREVER

Login or register to post replies.

bball's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 1/26/2011 - 11:03pm
Replies by: bball, Janner

I had 3.4mm removed from my cheeck in oct. sentinal node and ct/pet were negative. (no ulceration by mitotic rate was 6). My main onc.has me just doing follow ups but no treatment. second onc basically the same but can get me into 30 day interferon treatment. currently I have been following an immune style diet lots of greens no dairy,wheat and limited sugar. ANY THOUGHTS

Login or register to post replies.

jenniperry's picture
Replies 15
Last reply 3/7/2011 - 5:41pm

Haven't posted in awhile. Brian went in for IL2 Dec.14th due to no trial openings of other treatments. While having IL2 they did an MRI since one of his eyes wasn't responding to light correctly. They then told us he has leptomeningeal disease, and his liver was very enlarged and his abdomen was distended from fluid. We were in the hospital until Dec. 21st and went home with the words, he has a few weeks.... We are devastated. He has declined in the five weeks since and now vomits a lot and his liver is failing. The doctor said they couldn't do whole brain radiation because it would just torture him and then the liver would kill him. He's lost about 15 lbs, some he has gained in fluid, so it's more weight than the 15lbs most likely. Hospice has been coming twice a week. He sleeps most of the day and is awake anywhere from 5 to 7hours, a lot of which he feels really bad. Pain meds are working better now. We are just trying to keep him comfortable and say all we can while there is still time. He is only 41 and is so sad to leave as we are to lose him. We do trust he is safe in the hands of God, as are we. Still praying for a miracle.

Cherish every day you have.

Login or register to post replies.

Sharyn's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 1/29/2011 - 12:18pm


Hi friends!
Just a quick update. I went to Montreal yesterday and met with my oncologist Dr Mihalcioiu and radiation oncologist Dr Roberge. They went over my Dec 8 brain CT scan in great detail, and here's how things are looking.
Back in May I had 4 brain tumors treated with Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS). I'm delighted to say that 3 of them are gone, and what's left of the 4th one isn't even worth bothering with. But (there's always gotta be a "but"), I have 2 new tumors. One is on my left occipital lobe (I had one on the right side in May), and that affects vision. Lately I have been having mild loss of peripheral vision on the right side (left controls right side of the brain), so that explains my sight problems. The other tumor is in the internal capsule, and (I think) can affect arm and/or leg movement, although I haven't had any of those symptoms. Dr Roberge thinks these 2 new tumors could possibly have been present when I had my last SRS treatment, but were still too small to be detected. So this doesn't necessarily mean new growth.
So here's the game plan: I go myself back to Montreal on Tuesday (Feb 1) to check my radiation mask to see if it still fits. Remember, I had no hair last year, so the new hair may have thrown the measurements out of whack. If it doesn't fit, I have to get one made Tues morning. Then I go for an MRI, after which is a planning session to figure out lines and angles, etc. Back home Tues night.  Back to Montreal again, with Jim this time, the following Monday (Feb 7 & 8) for the actual treatment. It would have been nice to do it all in the one trip, but a lot has to be done from the 1st to the 7th, co-ordinating physicists, figuring out radiation dosages, etc.
Then I resume the next phase of ipilimumab, which, by the way, the doctors are absolutely thrilled with! They can't believe the drastic reduction in other parts of my body. They'll do another CT scan before we start up again to see what my new starting points are.  
So that's it -- just another little bump in the road. I'll let you know how it goes after the 8th.


WLE, SNB, ILP, LND, PV-10, Uterine mets (Hysterectomy), GM-CSF, WBR, RT, Temodar, B-RAF negative, SRS (Novalis) to brain, Breast mets (Mastectomy), currently on Ipilimumab compassionate use trial Mets to brain, lung and sub-qs. Craniotomy.

Login or register to post replies.

Jan in OC's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 1/29/2011 - 12:35pm

During the scans to qualify for the E-7080 trial, the Dr discovered several brain mets. Husband has been on no treatment since failing BRAF on 12/20/10 in preparation for another trial.  Cancer has been growing like crazy!  We are both a little upset by this news.

We go in this afternoon to discuss other options with him, but I don't know anything about the treatment options once mel is in the brain.  Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Jan, wife to Dirk, stage 4, WLE, 1 mo HD Interferon, BRAF 11months

laughter is the best medicine

Login or register to post replies.

nickmac56's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 2/11/2011 - 10:43pm

My wife's 12 week PET/CT scan was not good news.  Her original lung tumor has grown, plus multiple mets in both lungs, lymph nodes and kidneys, plus skin tumors.  Maybe there will be some lag effect, but given disease progression it does not seem consistent with what other late responders on Ipi have experienced even by week 16.  We are going to try 4 weeks of Tamoxifin to see if hormones have anything to do with it (weak link and a long shot but women have more melanoma than men and my wife is convinced tumor ignition times to her cycle), do the 4 week follow-up Ipi scan, and then go the Interleukin-2 route (a two week hospital stint).  Also going to see Dr. Cassian Yee at Cancer care Alliance (U of W professor) about his clinical trial (taking your own T-cells, creating hordes of them, bathing them in anti-cancer stuff and re-infusing).  Our oncologist does know him, and is pretty skeptical of it as they've only had one long term durable remission, but will support us.  Timing is fine as it takes couple months to harvest enough T-cells - they will use previous tumor already excised - so we can do the IL-2 route and still do the UW trial.  After that, maybe the NIH trial.  But we are clearly in a race against a disease progressing faster than the meds are working . We are also looking into all the naturopathic stuff, even though we are already on the anti-cancer diet.  

Questions:  anyone on a non-randomized NIH trial?   A friend has also told me about some clinic in Tijuana with some success with melanoma patients (yea, I know...)  - anyone have any experience with it?

thanks, Nick

Her motto: "Don't wait for the storm to pass, love dancing in the rain".

Login or register to post replies.

Charlie S's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 1/27/2011 - 2:45pm

Hey there Ellen, I was wondering if you have  full access to this clinical article about Immunizations for Cancer Patients that would be a answer to the post  below about this topic.

If so, would you be able to share?


Charlie S

Login or register to post replies.