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Feb 28, 2017 · Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma internal in Cancer

Good news Meg4434 is that you are stable. Sounds like the combo of Yervoy/Opdivo did its work and reduced the tumor. It is my understanding that sometimes those drugs take time to work, so patience is impt. I pray your tumor continues to reduce.
I had been treated with Yervoy first, followed by Opdivo for my leg melanomas. I was lucky, after 2 infusions with Opdivo, all the melanomas disappeared – a true miracle. I could only withstand 6 infusions as my body went into total inflammation and Dr decided to stop the treatment. I still have some side effects (arthritis, joint pain, eye irritation, low sodium/hemoglobin counts) but all manageable. Prednisone has been my friend of late! But I am cancer free almost 2 yrs now, and very grateful.
Wish I could be of more help, but my experience has been limited, as the melanomas have not travelled beyond my leg, as of yet. I stay positive, but I do understand the melanomas are never curable, we just have to stay one step ahead.

Jan 11, 2017 · Diagnosed with diabetes after acute pancreatic attack; now chronic in Diabetes/Endocrine System

If I can be of any help in the future please keep me in mind Colleen.

Jan 11, 2017 · Diagnosed with diabetes after acute pancreatic attack; now chronic in Diabetes/Endocrine System

Thank you for mentioning my bout with pancreatitis but it was short lived and was a reaction to the immunotherapy drug Opdivo (Nivolumab) which I was taking for metastatic melanoma. The pancreatitis showed up on the PET scan – luckily I was asymptomatic. After 3 mos, the PET scan was clear. My thoughts and prayers go out to you suffering from acute and chronic pancreatitis as I understand it can be extremely painful.

Jan 6, 2017 · opdivo in Lung Cancer

Yes, the Dr said that is possible if necessary. Might have to be on a lower dose, will have to see how my body reacts. I also asked if Keytruda would be a possibility in the future, but Dr said it is the same drug as Nivo so would make no difference. Dr’s also mentioned a repeat of the isolated limb infusion, as well as IL2. Hopefully, will not have to go there…

Jan 5, 2017 · opdivo in Lung Cancer

Any drug can have side effects, just keep in mind each body is different, so don’t be put off by side effects. When one is on Opdivo or Yervoy, one is monitored very closely so the serious side effects are caught early. I am a case in point. I have had 5 years of melanoma resections, then multiple melanomas occurred (19) so the Dr at MSKCC put me in a clinical trial doing a chemo infusion of the leg along with Yervoy (Ipilimumab) infusions – every 3 weeks for 4 infusions. Did not work, and I got diarrhea for 2 mos that was managed very carefully by my Dr. She saved me from colitis which is one of the side effects of this drug.

We then waited a month and I was given Opdivo (Nivolumab) which targets/shuts down the PD1 protein so the immune system can effectively attack the cancer. After 2 infusions, all 19 melanomas on my leg disappeared. I continued on for 6 infusions but had to go off as a result of the severe side effects: from vision and oral inflammation to pancreatitis, adrenal insufficiency, anemia, bone and joint issues, reactive/osteo arthritis, and skin itching. It has taken a year to resolve all the inflammation, but after almost 2 years, I am still cancer free and melanomas have not spread to liver, lung, or brain. It was upsetting not to be able to continue the Nivo (some patients get biweekly infusions for 2 years) but Dr’s feel the combo of the Ipi followed by Nivo may have worked in my favor and given me longer survival time. Some clinical trials at MSKCC are actually using both Ipi and Nivo in combination and having great survival rates – up to 60%. Moral of the story is don’t worry about the side effects as they can be managed most of the time but you must be vigilant and follow Dr’s orders. For the first time melanomas are being used in the same sentence as “curable” and that is truly amazing.