Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Merck PD1 trial

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    Hello Everyone,

    I wanted to give you my update so that it might help others and give you hope.

    I have been on the Merck PD1 trial since 12/2011. By my third infusion, my tumors were shrinking and as of my first 12 weeks scans, I was a “complete responder” on MK3475. I just had my scans on Jan 21st and I remain “NED”.

    As of Dec. 2013, I have been on the trial for 2 years. I thought you would like to know that Merck is letting patients stay on the drug beyond the 2 years if the patients is still benefiting from the drug.

    I have already had my infusion into my 3rd year of this trial. I do not know of any PD1 trials which patients have take PD1 over 2 years so we are in “uncharted territory”!

    I am not sure but I think BMS keep patients on their PD1 drug for only 2 years.

    I read your post daily and you are all in my prayers. I only hope that PD1 gets approved very soon so others can benefit from this drug.

    Jonathan, a special “thank you” goes out to you because you told me about Merck PD1 when you were in contact with Daniel at Merck. I truly hope that you get an opportunity to get PD1 if you need it. You got a “bad” deal with Curetech. Wishing you and Francoise many happy & healthy days to come.




    I’m so pleased to hear about your excellent and continuing response.

    It does give us all great comfort and hope, as well. I hold my breath sometimes, but I also just read a piece by my oncologist, Mario Sznol, where he says, talking about the prospects for immunotherapy, that he can, on his optimistic days, envision “the end game”, a broad cure for metastatic melanoma as well as for many other cancers. Who would have dared to think that a short time ago?

    With very best wishes,


    Celeste Morris

    Hey Candi,

    Actually BMS (Nivolumab) trials are usually 2 1/2 years. I started Nivolumab at Moffitt in December of 2010 (NED arm) and had infusions every 2 weeks for 6 months and then every 3months for 2 additional years. I had my last infusion in June of 2013 and remain NED. That trial is now very much expanded. My cohort was given 1, 3 and 10mg/kg in respective groups as was the sister non-resected arm. Since then, many additional arms have been added to include patients post ipi, post bad response to ipi, etc.

    So glad things are going well for you with the Merck’s anti-PD1. And you are absolutely right! Jonathan and all the other folks that were given the Cure-tech product certainly deserve to be allowed in these trials…though hopefully some anti-PD1 product will be FDA approved before too long and surely that prior use will not be a roadblock for them then!

    Wishing you the best, Celeste

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