View Full Version : Stage IV melanoma - rejected from clinical trials

02-19-2008, 12:59 PM
My sister-in-law has stage iv metastatic melanoma.

2+ years ago she had a mole removed from her back (melanoma). I know of no other scans or tests done at that time.

Jul 07 she noticed lumps in her breasts. At her exam, they noticed her ovary was enlarged. They decided to do a lumpectomy and hysteretomy since she had been having trouble (sorry I don't know more details).

During the hysterectomy in Sept 07, the gynecologist discovered a tumor (melanoma) larger than a softball on her ovary. The lumps in her breasts also melanoma. Scans returned a brain tumor, and spots on her lungs.

A friend of a friend who is a melanoma survivor immediately told us to get in touch with MD Anderson - not to waste time with chemo/radiation. The oncologist wanted to do those after removing the brain tumor, so that is what was done.

She had brain surgery to remove the tumor - no bad side effects from the surgery. She underwent as an inpatient three five-day treatments of immunotherapy (interferon and interleukin-2) and fifteen radiation treatments. During one of her immunotherapy weeks she turned 40. How sad.

After two months, a follow up scan to see if the radiation/imuunotherapy helped, they found another brain tumor - and fairly large. They immediately did another brain surgery. Again she came through fine.

All along the oncologist has said that she would be going to MD Anderson for clinical trials. Just today we were told she does not meet the criteria for any of them.

Does anyone have suggestions on where there might be other clinical trials?

02-19-2008, 01:02 PM
Also today, just found out she has a bowel blockage and is being sent via ambulance to a local hospital (she lives 2 hours away). Not sure if that is caused by all the meds or if it might be melanoma. I'll update if/when I know more.

02-20-2008, 10:27 AM
A body scan now shows cancer in her bowels, lungs, and stomach. Not much else to be done but wait. How sad.

02-20-2008, 05:54 PM
A body scan now shows cancer in her bowels, lungs, and stomach. Not much else to be done but wait. How sad.

I am sorry for your friend. My prayers will be with you all.... Mattie

02-21-2008, 08:10 AM
Thank you, Mattie.

She has been given a sliver of hope. An IV based chemotherapy drug called Taxol has been offered as well as an oral drug (I don't remember the name, but it is not as effective as Taxol for melanoma so wasn't chosen). 20% of patients respond to Taxol. But, since her cancer is everywhere and so aggressive....

03-13-2008, 09:42 PM
Prayers are with you and your friend...Thats all I can say.....xoxoxxxxxxooooo

03-14-2008, 07:48 AM
Thank you.

My sister-in-law was given one of two planned chemo treatments and is at home. I don't believe she has one good month remaining. She has some good days and some bad. Her mother and aunt are caring for her.

03-14-2008, 02:04 PM
Thank you.

I don't know if her outcome would have been different. But at least we'd have the peace of mind knowing that everything was done that could be. It is very sad and frustrating.

My husband, her brother, has already gone to have himself checked with a dermatologist who can stage cancerous moles. He has atypical moles, which may indicate an elevated risk of developing melanoma.

I know that if he does ever have one that is diagnosed as melanoma, we will definitel have lymph node analysis at least discussed with the doctor as well as treatments that are possible with chemo/radiation at that time.

03-15-2008, 03:50 PM
Thank you very much for your kind words of support.


03-18-2008, 04:07 PM
Wow - my thoughts and prayers are with your sister in law and your whole family. I am sorry that she did not qualify for that trial. I personally do not know any but if you check out the government site for cancer trials - there may be a list. I don't think you are allowed to post other sites on here.

Your sister in law sounds like a real fighter. I wish her the best.

03-19-2008, 10:45 AM
mahnee - Yes, she is a fighter. But I think her system is worn out.

The tumor in her abdomen is larger than a basketball. Her system is not stable and I believe she is entering her last days/hours. All medicine has been stopped except for pain management - morphine right now.

Thank you everyone for you prayers.

03-20-2008, 05:47 AM
I am so sorry to read of the problems that your sister-in-law has had. We can never understand why these things happen ESPECIALLY to such a young person.

My husband has had two melanomas (15 years apart) that were in VERY early stages, thank goodness but I can understand the concern, fear and all the emotions that go along with it.

Your sister-in-law as well as your family are in my prayers. Please keep us updated.

03-28-2008, 10:59 AM
My sister-in-law was taken to the hospital on Sunday March 16 due to pain. She passed away on Saturday, March 22, due to the melanoma tumors in her abdomen. She wasn't in any pain and was surrounded by her family in the hospital.

Thank you to all for your concern and prayers.


03-28-2008, 06:02 PM
Tjcarst ~ I am so very sorry for you and your families loss. Please accept my sincere condolences.

03-30-2008, 02:22 PM
Oh, I am so sorry for you and your family. My deepest sympathies go out to you at this most difficult time.

God Bless.

04-03-2008, 07:42 AM
Thank you, everyone, for your kind thoughts. It is appreciated.