I have a question. If you have done interferon and the melanoma comes back in a few years can you do another treatment of something. or does that limit you on what you can do? thank you for any information on this
The short answer is yes you can do other treatments but the treatment will depend on if it’s a local (still stage III) or distant (stage IV) recurrance.
As you know, other than surgery there’s really only Interferon (and maybe radiation depending on the location) out there for stage III as standard treatment, however, there are some limited trials for stage III patients using other treatments, for example IPI (Yervoy) and some of the Braf inhibitors.
My understanding is that Interferon would count as one “systemic” treatment for trial qualification purposes. Some trials limit the number of systemic treatments you’ve had but this should not be an issue relative to a recurrance since interferon is not very effective and the treatment would have been considered a failure. The only other possible trial entry issue would be if your last injection was fairly recent, like less that 3 months ago.
Good for you for asking this question and maybe questioning interferon in general?.
I can only answer your question regarding a stage 3 recurrence, and the answer is yes. My original diagnosis was 1 node with microscopic involvement, I recurred at 18 months with a macroscopic node. Following the CLND I was interested in the ipi v interferon trial and I was denied due to prior interferon use. Kind of a bummer but I am more comfortable going back to life with stage 3 this time around.
You might want to check out the ipi v interferon trial for stage 3.
I doubt it would exclude any stage 4 treatments, maybe biochemo since I believe a component of that is interferon. I hope someone else can answer as far as stage 4 is concerned.
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