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Thyroid Disorders Message Board
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario Canada
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BonBe HB User
Question Dear MEEP

Hello Meep. We have tried in the past to ask you a question which is becoming more and more important for me to have some knowledge on. I will more than likely be treated in the not too distant future with some form of Chemotherapy resulting from a recent bout of agressive malignant melanoma which I have already undergone surgery to remove.

I will be headed for CT scans on Wednesday as they were unable to perform a sentinel lymphnode. The tumor was removed so now it cannot be done, hence I believe the CT scan and MRI and stuff.

Now I have been asked to participate in some clinical drug trials Phase 3 randomized study of four weeks high dose IFNa2b in stages T3 - T4 or N1 Melanoma - Me.1- )E1697)

Now I know the body makes its own interferon to fight flu and stuff, but after careful reading and consideration and my own particular life style (care giver for aging disabled parent) and the inability to go to the hospital in the city every day for 4 weeks...I have declined to partake in the drug trials which are both in the USA and Canada.

If the treatment course is chemo (self injections at home) I am worried as one of the documentations states Interferon in mega doses (even the thrice weekly infusions) cause lower thyroid function. GEE WHIZ that is all I need

Do you have any information that I can take with me regarding this problem (I am from Canada) I do not want to seem like a total idiot, but as we all know not all doctors are familiar with thyroid disease.... and it took so long for me to get this far and feeling fine and much better now that my meds have been increased (ever so slightly, but this latest 'tweaking' has helped with my symptoms. Now this stuff.

I hope you can afford me the time, and tell of any thing I can do that may prevent further thyroid problems. (I am hypo)

Thankyou I hope you are still on line and read this.

Bonnie Lea

Last edited by BonBe; 09-20-2004 at 12:51 PM.

 
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:07 PM   #2
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Location: Euless, TX
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Meep HB UserMeep HB UserMeep HB User
Re: Dear MEEP

Hi, I am sorry I have missed your question in the past. I don't often get on here, anymore, and then it is only for a brief spurt here and there, so I know I miss things here and there. I'll look up what I can on your question and get back to you soon. Hang in there! *HUG*
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Danny

I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV...

Last edited by Meep; 09-20-2004 at 01:08 PM.

 
Old 09-20-2004, 01:24 PM   #3
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BonBe HB User
Re: Dear MEEP

Thanks a ton. Really! I just hate all this. But still maintain my optomistic attitude that 'they got it all' but just in case I want to know what to maybe expect. Any information you are able to glean, I am just too darn tired now to search for more... not much out there on the interferon/thyroid stuff. Maybe it is not important dunno

Bonnie Lea

 
Old 09-20-2004, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: Dear MEEP

Most of what I am finding on the IFNa2b trials thyroid-wise is that it may cause los of control of thyroid treatment. I am guessing that this means TSH will no longer be an accurate indicator of treatment for those where it was in the first place.

Since Interferon changes the way that many things are metabolized, it might affect the way thyroid hormones are used/metabolized as well. I would measure your thyroid homrone levels solely by Free T3 and Free T4, just to be safe, tohugh watching TSH won't be a bad idea and will appease the doctor's habit of followig that number.

On the other hand it may simply mean that Thyroid levels WILL change and stand as a warning that it amy take time to get the right again, just like anything else that affects what does you need.

If you are positive for any thyroid antibodies, Interferons can cause a worsening of the autoimmune response during or even after you are treated with interferon, and this doesn't seem to be related to the dose of interferon taken or the length of treatment. Since thyroid antibodies can cause TSH and Free T3 and Free T4 labs to fluctuate, this may be what they are referring to as a lack of control over thyroid treatment.

Selenium supplementation would likely help keep the antibodies more in check, if they become a problem, but I wouldn't take more than 50mcg a day for fear of going toxic on it, since interferons can affect metabolism of lots of things, and I don't find much on how it affects Selenium.

It looks like as long as your thyroid levels are under control, you might have to do some tweaking, but tweaking thyroid meds and following them agressively sounds far less scary to me than a recurrence of cancer.


I hope this helps! *HUG*

The Bottom line is that this CAN affect your thyroid levels and that you need to stay on top of them and make adjustments as needed.
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Danny

I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV...

 
Old 09-20-2004, 03:15 PM   #5
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Location: Ontario Canada
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BonBe HB User
Re: Dear MEEP

well, you are my knight in shining armour ! now do not blush so...thankyou very very much for the info it is better than what I have been able to suss out of the internet.

Just with all the lack of knowledge that doctors seem to have regarding our dear little butterfly gland, it is kind of frightening for me to suddenly realize that I may end up where I started with the roller coaster, but it is a very small price to pay...you are right.....Maybe oncologists and all that group are more in tune to thyroid hormone what ever functions.

This does help me it. I have printed it up so I can familiarize myself when I am asked those questions again and now I can ask intelligent questions, instead of the stuttery ones I did on my last appointment at Princess Margaret.


Again bless you ESTEEMED MR. MEEP

Bonnie Lea

 
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