I have Stage 3c melanoma skin cancer. I’ve had multiple surgeries, quarterly CT scans, needle biopsies and much more! This is an overview of everything I have gone through so far.
I will have my 4th (of 12) treatment next week at Memorial Sloan Kettering. I am on Opdivo for 1 year. If you have any questions for you, leave it in the comments and I can get back to you. 🙂
Taken from Cancer.org August 2022
This explains exactly what I’ve been told by doctors and explains how it’s given to patients.
Immunotherapy is the use of medicines to help a person’s own immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively. Several types of immunotherapy can be used to treat melanoma.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors:
An important part of the immune system is its ability to keep itself from attacking normal cells in the body. To do this, it uses “checkpoints,” which are proteins on immune cells that need to be turned on (or off) to start an immune response. Melanoma cells sometimes use these checkpoints to avoid being attacked by the immune system. But these drugs target the checkpoint proteins, helping to restore the immune response against melanoma cells.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) are drugs that target PD-1, a protein on immune system cells called T cells that normally help keep these cells from attacking other cells in the body. By blocking PD-1, these drugs boost the immune response against melanoma cells. This can often shrink tumors and help people live longer.
They can be used to treat melanomas:
-That can’t be removed by surgery
-That have spread to other parts of the body
-After surgery (as adjuvant treatment) for certain stage II or III melanomas to try to lower the risk of the cancer coming back
These drugs are given as an intravenous (IV) infusion, typically every 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the drug and why it’s being given.