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Melanoma Returns...

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2004

I would like to hear from anyone who started a biotherapy program for malignant melanoma using Interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) as treatment. After 8 months on the drug at 60 MIU per week, my cancer has returned. My treatment program has stopped on the Intron A. The next step is a series of PET and CT scans to see if the cancer has spread. 5 of the melanomas have been on my back, including the most recent finding in April. My oncologist has suggested either radiation treatments (localized to the back) or one of six clinical trials now underway.

If you are currently in a clinical trial under similar circumstances, I would like to hear from you. I will need to make a decision on the treatment plan soon. I am a 59 year old male. The good news is that my taste buds are working again, and a daily glass of Chardonnay tastes wonderful! Thanks for your time.

Bruce Nelson
Hudson, NH

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2004

Bruce, I was diagnosed with level 4 melanoma in february 2001. I was 25 at that time. It started on my right schin. After they removed half my schin a pet scan showed it spread to some lyph nodes and I went to the university of Miami where they did a right groin centinel biopsy to remove 19 lyph nodes that were positive for cancer. Then I did 12 months of interferon alfa 2b. The first 3 months I went monday through friday. next 6 months i went monday, wednesday, friday. and final 3 months i did self injections in my stomach monday, wednesday and friday. At the time they told me interferon was the best. I am currently in remission and go for a pet scan every 6 months. My body did not take the interferon well and I had a problem keeping up by plattlets and white blood cells. I had very bad side effects from the interferon.

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2004


Thanks for your response. Glad to hear that you are in remission. I continue to have negative side effects from the Interferon injections, especially my feet which now have little feeling. My doctor said that the nerve endings are damaged and that recovery is unlikely. The clinical trial I am considering has similar side effects, so I am hesitant to jump into another round of biotherapy given the negative results so far. I continue to search for alternatives. Thanks for sharing your personal situation with me.


Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2004

Bruce, my husband is Bruce and he has done the bio chemotherapy with Interleukin-2, Interferon and Cisplatin, followed by a 6 months regimen of Taxol, then daily shots of IL-2 and Gsm-Fs , went into remission for nearly a year, then has had 3 recurrences in the soft tissue of the original right groin lymph nodes, and one along the thigh muscle. He has gone back to the maintenance IL-2 at once a month and still daily shots. They have no answer for the regional growths, it is scary. How are you doing?

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