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Interleukin II Treatment Pending, Looking for Support

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

Hello All,

My good friend Chris has been fighting malignant melanoma for the past 16 months. Recently he completed a 52-week session of interferon and the prognosis in December looked promising. Unfortunately a recent PET scan revealed that the cancer has metastasized to his liver, 2 lymph nodes and 2 other microsites. The only treatment available for this stage is Interleukin II which he will undergo in early March. My reason for posting is to find more information about the struggles and symptoms of the treatment from those who have undergone it. It is very intense from what I have read but I would like to pick your brains for coping strategies and such.

Along these lines my friend's wife, Julia, is looking for some support as well. If there are any other caregivers or spouses of those who have undergone this treatment that are willing to communicate with her I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks to all,


hollyberry's picture
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Hi Zac,
My name is Holly, I'm 47 years old and am a melanoma survivor like Chris.I have been battling mucosal melanoma myself for 16 months but have had it in the anal-rectal region, so just a bit different than your friend. There are some promising new treatments available to him, since he hasn't metastasized as much as me.I have heard about the M-vaxx, which is a vaccine that they make out of a solid melanoma tumor, change the cells and re-inject into your body with a low dose of Interleukin-2. There is also the Gleevec trial, which is just 4 pills a day and hardly any side-effects ( your DNA does have to match, though). I would talk to the oncologist about these clinical trials and others that he may qualify for, as the Interleukin is a killer- side-effects are brutal, nausea, vomitting, body aches from He#@ and bone-crushing fatigue. Sorry to give you bad news but, I'm sure you'd rather hear the truth from a patient than a watered-down version from a nurse or a leaflet they hand you. If Chris is going to a teaching hospital, they should know about the clinical trials. If not, go to www.mpip.org for more melanoma info- they are a good source for information and melanoma is the only cancer they deal with.
Good luck to all of you and if you need to talk some more, you can internal mail me and I will be happy to respond.
Julia will find many people on the caregivers thread that will be happy to support her, as well. You won't find nicer people than this board; they're so kind and compassionate. I hope you find friends here that you can talk to; we've all "been there" and are more than willing to do what we can to help.
My prayers are with you,

mainegal's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi Zac

More then happy to share my IL-2 experiences. Also if you go to www.operationsunshield.org then to my treatment and then click on the IL-2 tip sheet I have posted a printout that others have found very helpful.

Feel free to contact me!
Stay strong~ Jane

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi -

I am writing on behalf of my best friend, who was Dx'd in 2006, treated with interferon for 12 months in 2007 found mets to lungs in 2008, and I have some questions regarding IL-2 that the physician has skirted around. Since you found the treatment a success may I ask you a few questions?

1) Were you initially treated with interferon?
2) Did your tumor ulcerate?
3) How long does the treatment last?

Thank you for your help. I have been searching for a positive in this horribly dark time.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2009

Sorry that should read mets confirmed in 2/2009

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