Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV MK 3475 in St. Joseph MO

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    I’ve posted before about my husband Steve who was on the ADC trial at Sarah Cannon. That had stopped working for him.

    A followup brain MRI showed 6 brain mets for which he received cyberknife at Sarah Cannon. Then the plan was to get on immunotherapy as soon as possible.

    Apparently nivolumab (not very available yet in expanded access anyway) would have required a waiting period for the brain mets. So pembrolizumab was clearly the way to go since the entry requirements into that expanded access were only to have them treated. The closest place to us in Missouri to get this drug is Heartland clinic in St. Joseph. They moved very fast, with help from Dr. Infante and his staff at Sarah Cannon, so Steve will get his first infusion there today only one week after finishing radiation.

    I cant’ say enough about how great Sarah Cannon has been in working with us and sending information to other doctors when needed. The Heartland clinic in St. Joe has also been extremely helpful.


    Catherine Poole


    This is great news and I hope the infusion does the trick! I’m hearing some great stories about this PD1 so far. Let us know how things go. I also can’t agree more about the folks at Sarah Cannon, I know I can send patients there and they will be treated very well!


    Update: After one infusion with pembrolizumab the side effects for my husband have been significant fatigue and very sore muscles.

    We were told the immune reaction for the previously treated brain mets (cyberknife) about three weeks ago would also cause fatigue for a while beginning one week post treatment.

    Steve has a tumor in his T9 vertebrae which has been causing a lot of pain, so he is getting localized radiation for that — probably also causing more fatigue. With all this, it’s difficult to know how much of his fatigue is from pembro vs the other treatments.

    In this expanded access program Steve is allowed to receive the radiation to the tumor in his back but it has to be completed before the next infusion. That will delay infusion #2 from next Thursday to the following Monday. Too bad for the delay but at least the radiation treatment was approved by the drug company.


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