Anti PD-1: A New Hope

Daniel and me at the Melanoma Walk in October 2012!

Daniel and me at the Melanoma Walk in October 2012!

The right sidebar of my blog contains a list of my history with Melanoma. It is quite an extensive list. I am blessed to have been diagnosed at the “best time” in history to have Melanoma. Progress that has eluded researchers for many years is finally being made in treating this horrible cancer. Did you know that doctors have been able to cure Melanoma in rats for a number of years? It is frustrating that they haven’t been able to do the same in humans.

A little over two weeks ago I began a new drug that is in clinical trial and showing great promise for treating Melanoma. There is a coating on some cancer cells called Programmed Death 1(PD-1). When the immune system attempts to attack the cancer, the PD-1 hits the self destruct button on the immune cells. The Anti PD-1 drug turns off this mechanism and allows the immune system to fight the cancer. Besides having a good success rate in patients, another wonderful aspect of this drug is that is has very few side effects! I have had a bit of fatigue, a tiny bit of joint pain in my left wrist, and I noticed some dry patches developing on the insides of my elbows and on my back. I’ll take it! And the new hope this drug offers! I receive my next dose on Thursday. Bring it on!


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