Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Clinical Trial of Ipi and Avastin

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    My husband recently progressed to Stage IV after having an original lesion (on foot) widely excised in June, 2013. The sentinel node in his left groin was found to have a micro amount of cancer and we chose total lymphodectemy of the left groin area. No other nodes showed cancer at the time. He tried one day of interferon (long story) but had some type of allergic reaction so it was stopped. Subsequently, found out that another top melanoma hospital in Boston would not have recommended the Interferon in his situation. Had 1 PET in Feb, 2014 which was clear. Second PET in Aug is showing spread to other nodes in the groin and hip area (still on left side). We are told additional surgery will only yield 20% chance of total eradication of cancer (and we know % don’t always mean much)…we were then given the option of standard treatment of Ipi (and Leukine) OR clinical trial of Ipi and Avastin which is an angiogenesis inhibitor not yet approved for melanoma but is used in other cancers. They have not tested for BRAF yet (acral melanoma has a lower chance of BRAF) nor any other genetic mutations such as C-kit which is more common in acral. We are trying to get an answer on why that is but I think at this point, they feel we just need to get him on the ipi at a minimum. Any thoughts on whether or not this all sounds appropriate and if anyone has experience with the above drugs? We have been seen at 2 top melanoma centers in Boston but would consider visiting Sloan in NYC..he is being told no clinical trials with PD1 available to him at this time. Thoughts?

    Catherine Poole

    Sorry you didn’t get an answer on this, I think it is because no one knows the answer. Avastin is not normally a melanoma drug and we don’t know how it might work with IPI. I don’t believe it was very promising alone. We’re still in a new frontier on these drug combinations. Let us know what you decide upon and how things are going.


    Thank you for getting back to me Catherine…we go in tomorrow for the “screening” for the Ipi/Avastin trial and i will certainly let everyone know how it goes…there is a possibility my husband will be randomized to the “ipi” alone group or he could get both ipi and Avastin (which, as you mentioned, has not been approved for melanoma but is an angiogenesis inhibitor which has shown to inhibit tumor growth in other cancers)…it is a Phase II trial so we figured the phase 1 patients must have faired ok…? just want to get going as the trial screenings are adding time! I will keep you posted. Thank you!

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