I was diagnosed 6/12 with primary on my scalp. I had a modified radical neck dissection of the right side with 4 of 48 nodes positive. I enrolled in the Ipi-interferon clinical trial. I completed 6 months of interferon..fun yea! August last year I discovered a small growth under my skin on the side of my chest. A simple outpatient procedure removed the metastatic growth. That caused me to be classified stage IV. The good news was that now made me eligible for Ipi. I completed my Ipi as a adjuvant therapy last fall without incident.
Here is where it gets interesting and noteworthy. In early February I experienced a well noted, but delayed, side effect from the Ipi. My immune system compromised my pituitary, thyroid and adrenal functions. This of course is a well known side effect. This past Monday I was at Mass General for my quarterly scans and exam. All clear!! The surprising news came from Dr Flaherty when he informed me of a correlation they had made very recently, within the last 2-3 months. He informed me that “men aged in their 50′-60’s who experience a compromised pituitary function tend to do very well”.
So, as often happens in our lives, what seemed to be a bad thing..has a sliver lining.
I am currently on a PDL trial at MSK…I see my melanoma oncologist at NYU for regular check ins. About 6 weeks into the trial, my thyroid crashed and burned. When I told my oncologist at NYU, she just about congratulated me, telling me that patients who experience endocrinopathy have a better response to immunotherapy drugs..who knew?? 😆 …no wonder I was all washed out…synthyroid works wonders
Good for you on your response!! I am glad to hear this is becoming more widely recognized.
I agree on the drug scene too. Between the synthroid and steroids I was totally jacked! I’m questioning myself why I stayed away from drugs all my life…not really. But they do work damn good. I am in the final stages of steroid reduction weaning down to zero in 5 days. I will monitor closely, when those glands weren’t producing I hit a wall!.
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