Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Is this good news?

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    My husband just got scan results after 6 weeks after finishing ipi. No new tumours but some growth in ones that were showing up in the June 2012 scan. Onc was surprised as he had been against ipi from the start due to being in a wheelchair. Has anyone had a similar response – more of a holding pattern – and then seen tumours shrink after more time?

    Catherine Poole

    Hi Barbara,

    We’ve seen many different results with IPI and this sounds like a partial response. Has your husband done the full course of therapy? That is often important for best results. Do you have a plan B for him? I’m not understanding why your doctor was against giving this therapy to him? Let us know a little more detail..


    Yes I think of it as good news. However half the time I have no idea what to think!!!

    I have had two good six week exams after finishing the BMS-982470 study, (combo of interleukin-21 (IL-21) and Ipilimumab), which officially ended Jan 2013. Started around May 2012.

    Sooo my last two 6 weeks apart scans show no new lesions, small increases in size (decreased initially) of the 3 tumor sites, ~ millimeters…

    I am not missing the fatigue that I had – although I won’t complain since it was not bad enough to keep me from my normal work routine.

    Regarding the future, my doctor says, apx:

    1) Could go back on the ipilumimab and riL-21 but only if more desease…

    2) Could get 4 doses of (commercially) ipi – Yervoy.

    3) Start another trial.

    We agreed to decide on this after one more set of scans, about in 3 weeks I believe.

    Guess I am willing to do something, but not wait and see.

    So I have no great answers to my friends and family when they ask, “How you doing?” since I am neither NED, fine or good. The long answer is something like, “well. pretty good … sorta waiting and watching ..”.

    Take care!



    Catherine brings up a bunch of good points and questions, especially about having Plan B ready to go (like a PD-1 trial). You gotta stay ahead of this stuff. Has your husband been tested for the BRAF mutation?

    Also, 7-8 months between scans seems like a long time, however, if there were no new tumors and only small growth of existing ones during that period, that seems like a partial response to me too. Plus, while the immune system is responding to the cancer, scans can still show what appears to be progression. So it appears to me, this is good news. :)

    And how is your husband feeling overall?

    Boy Craig, I’d really be thinking about getting into a PD1 trial if you can, maybe even combined with IPI, since you had a durable response to IPI the first time around.

    Take care guys.


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