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New treatments for Melanoma?

Derrick's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi, I am 34 yrs old living in Newfoundland, Canada. I have been diagnosed with melanoma stage 3+ , still waiting results from total ALND, I had one node already positive from SNB. Obviously the sun didnt cause my melanoma as we hardly get any sun in Newfoundland, no mostly rain, snow and wind. However, I did use immunosuppresants for the treatment of crohns disease for 3 years, so this is a strong contributinf factor for me. Anyhow, my topic or point of interest is: Are there any positive new treatments or even research studies that are being carried out that anyone knows about? Is this a field of cancer research with not enough emphasis? Not enough research, enough real treatments? What is the opinion out there? I am starting to wonder.

Carvs's picture
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Derrick,
There are a lot of clinical trials being conducted to try to improve treatment for melanoma. I am in the U.S. and am not as familiar with what is available in Canada. There are a number of Canadians who post on the mpip and you might want to visit that board too. http://www.mpip.org/bb/bbindex.html I am also stage III and have not had a recurrence since my lymph node dissection in March of 2005. Best of luck, Carver

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2006

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I'm a 3c, and have had three surgeries in the past 3 years to remove two melanomas (one was 6mm deep) and most recently on Mar 1 07 I had 23 lymph nodes taken from my neck, 8 of which had melanoma. I've done exhaustive research and unfortunately there is just not much out there. There is only one treatement that has any statistcal positive effects, and that is Interfereon. However, there are MANY terrible side effects and it has not been shown to actually extend lifespan. My docs say Interferon is my only option and I am passing on it. Instead I'm taking CoQ10 and have seen a pharmicist who specializes in health and am working to make my body as naturally combative as possible. And I'm living life as much as I can. I encourage you to research interferon (here is one good place to start: http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/cgi/content/full/10/9/739), CoQ10 (the Mayo Clinic has good info on it), and Leukine, which I also took for 6 months. Doesn't work very well but is being tried, at least. And keep a positive attitude. Good luck

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2007

I too am sorry to hear about your diagnosis and hopefully can give you something to go searching for to help. In April 2006 I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Since, as you stated, there aren't any statistically proven treatments, I agreed to enter a clinical trial. The drug I was given was temozolomide. It didn't work, but has in some patients. My doctor pulled me out of that trial and got me into a second one last October. The drug was Ticilimumab (it has a sister drug made by another company called Ipilimumab). It is an anti-body type of drug given by IV. He was happily amazed to find that it worked beautifully in me. I got to the point where, in April, surgery became an option. I had a tumor removed, the mole (source of the melanoma) removed and some lymph nodes under my arm removed. I have some ugly looking war wounds to show for it, but last week my first ct scan results came back since the surgery and I'm all clear. So, I recommend you ask your doctor about either of these two drugs. They're having some amazing successes with them and are lobbying hard to have them approved for general treatment, since the chemo drug out there now doesn't do a lot to help us. I hope this helps.


Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2007

Meloney, what facility did you use? where is it located? I am in New England.

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