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July 12, 2014 at 6:39 am #22094dhrahnParticipant
Dear Catherine and anyone with any experience with or considering biochemo,
I would really appreciate your thoughts, wisdom, experience with biochemotherapy.
My husband did zelboraf for about 9 months when he was first diagnosed in 2012 — It worked almost with shrinking everything pretty much in half(when first diagnosed had 7 tumors lungs, abd area, etc) . Once it stopped working we were going to go into ipi/pd1 trial but developed brain mets so we did ipi for the 4 infusions — no side effects except adrenal insuffiency, no reponse to tumors. We then did a a trial that had interlukin + some other drug for 3 infusions — Did not work and caused temporary lung issues. EAP pd1 opened and that we believed would be the miracle drug… did two infusions and a couple days before 3rd one ended up in urgent care and being admitted to hospital for 5 days for the start of kidney failure, severe dehydration, pain, shortness of breath and severe fatigue. We found out that cancer had spread (exploded is word they used) to liver, lungs, spleen, spine, pelvis and innumerable mets throughout abd area. We were taken off pd1 and started zelboraf and men immediately after leaving hospital and given a couple months left prognosis… My husband is feeling pretty good! Better than he has in weeks. He is now on a high dose of predisone and had spine radiated as well as pelvis. Our oncologist here in San Diego said his body couldn’t handle tile therapy. Our oncologist in LA doesn’t believe there was enough time to really know if PD1 just hadn’t worked yet or was it a complete fail. They suggested if pd1 isn’t approved yet when the zel/mek combo stop working than we should consider doing biochemotherapy.
Our concern is that with his liver and kidneys already being sensitive and having issues and biochemotherapy not even being done at many places anymore are we just buying more time but being completely miserable while we do it? I understand that if we did it when my husband was strong and maybe not as advanced but it seems like quality of life would be completely non existent. Are we wrong in thinking that??
I hope all this made some sort of sense…. Please share your thoughts and experiences.
Thank you!!July 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm #64980Catherine PooleKeymaster
It sounds like you are doing a great job taking care of your husband during this difficult time.
Biochemo is an old therapy that combines some pretty toxic therapies: interferon, IL2, dacarbazine, cisplatinum, and sometimes others. It requires hospitalization. Most institutions have dropped it as a therapy. These agents, alone and seperate, have all failed to provide an overall survival benefit for the majority of melanoma patients. If your husband is not able physically to handle the Til therapy (which is what I think you mentioned) then this would be just as hard on him. I don’t think this would provide the response you are looking for or improve the quality of his life. Where are you going for treatment in LA?July 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm #64981dhrahnParticipant
Angeles Clinic with Dr. Hamid. They have been great!! It’s just such a roller coaster!! He honestly feels better now than he has felt in weeks. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.July 13, 2014 at 11:55 am #64982Catherine PooleKeymaster If he is feeling good then perhaps the PD1 is working for him. I hope so. Keep in touch.
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