Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Knowing and Using Treatment Terms

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  • #20913
    buffcody
    Participant

    I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, that when people ask or you want to share what kind of treatment you are getting, many are not interested in the full explanation. With them, I’ve felt that the best way to handle it is to tell them I’m on a kind of chemotherapy. They really aren’t that interested in a more extensive explanation.

    For those who want more and trying to conceptualize for myself various terms I have seen used for ipi, which I am currently on, I’ve devised this little outline, not to hand to anyone but to make sure I understand the terms and use them correctly.

    I. Biological therapy

    A. Immunological therapy

    1. Targeted therapy

    a. Ipi

    So some bio therapy is immunological some not, some immunological therapy is targeted, some not.

    Conceptually and relationally correct?? What think you?

    #58402
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Good question, I know it is confusing. I would tell folks you are on Immunotherapy, (IPI and pD1) are immunotherapies that boost your immune system to fight the cancer. Targeted therapy is used to describe the BRAF therapies, i.e. Zelboraf, BRAF/MEK dual etc. Chemotherapy for melanoma is dacarbazine, temodar, etc. Does that help?

    #58403
    msue5
    Participant

    I agree. Most people ask me why I’m not on Chemo and I explain that standard chemo doesn’t work but there are other drugs that help. The thing that’s hard to explain is why you can’t take something to prevent it from returning like most other cancers.

    Mary Sue

    #58404
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Yes, we have very few adjuvant therapies, those that prevent the cancer from returning. But they are on the horizon! We hope that soon the targeted and immunotherapies will be used when there is no evidence of disease, but a possibility of it recurring.

    #58405
    buffcody
    Participant

    I noticed that the National Cancer Institute lists Ipi as a type of targeted therapy. Also that it does not use the term “immunological therapy” but, rather, “biological therapy.” Targeted therapies include not just “biological” therapies but “chemotherapies” as well. I guess what I am learning is that there are a number of acceptable ways to speak of the Ipi therapy and that there is not an agreed upon terminology, even among the experts, and an outline as I was proposing in my first post on the topic is not very accurate.

    My point, too, was that even though Ipi is not chemotherapy, a number of people who ask what kind of treatment I am getting might not be that interested in anything more detailed than that I am doing something like they would call chemo, having injections and infusions, and that’s enough for them. They aren’t intersted in learning what I might have to tell them about immunotherapy. And that’s fine! Doesn’t mean they aren’t sincerely interested in my health. So I just respond, “Yes, chemo.”

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