Sunday, March 8, 2015

One more Tampa trip! Update on 33 Melanoma Ratties' Nivo/Opdivo trial....

Yep, this is the way our week started!  Cause if I have scans and a trip to Tampa planned, you can bet Mother Nature is gonna freak out!!!  With help from an amazing road clearing crew and....
 ...a fun, decadent pre-travel day in Atlanta (Thanks, Bentie!!!!) we made our way to Tampa and my  6 month recheck.  Given the newly embraced Perestroika/Glasnost like attitudes of the TSA folks in Atlanta and Tampa, travel was pretty easy. (If you don't count the absolute nasty disaster that is Southwest - which we will not be flying again!!!) Weber was not worried about my chest wall ditzle since it has been there, unchanged since 2010.  He WAS impressed by my gall stone...though my gastroenterologist is I'm done with that until it causes me trouble!  More important news:

As I noted on a prior post from our published study:  "33 patients were enrolled.  10/33 patients relapsed. Of the 10 relapsed patients, five died due to metastatic melanoma; three were rendered free of disease surgically and remain disease-free at 2, 27 and 54 weeks after relapse.  One patient had spontaneous regression... and has been free of disease for over 3 years.  One additional relapsed patient is alive and on active therapy with dabrafenib plus trametinib."  Those facts need only a small adjustment as we confirmed that the status of those relapsed patients is unchanged.  It remains important to remember that only 2 of the 10 of us with prior brain mets early on with undetected disease at admission to the study that was quite progressed and another not that long ago with a lung met that was resected, rendering them NED.  On a less favorable note, one patient (with no prior brain mets) is under current evaluation for possible relapse. It sounded as though he had, with fairly extensive disease.  That may put the number relapsed to 11, but the final testing and diagnosis had not been officially made.  Fingers crossed for you, dear rattie!

Again, as previously noted from the published report:
"A retrospective study....showed a median overall survival of 12 months in stage IV melanoma patients undergoing metastasectomy."  Yet, my ratties and I have demonstrated an "impressive relapse-free survival...of 47.1 months and a median overall survival not yet reached with over 32 months of follow-up."  Obviously, we are all further along as each day passes.
For me, I am now: 
138 months post melanoma diagnosis
58 months post Stage IV melanoma
52 months NED
50 months post start of nivo/Opdivo trial
20 months post my last infusion

Yesterday, the skies cleared.  I was able to work in my yard and go for a run.  Today....there was this.  Springing forward.  Thanks to all the dear ratties who bring spring to us all.  - c

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