Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ipilimumab is working, here is the whole story.

Many of you received my Facebook update regarding my latest news, though it was very exciting I wanted to share with you the whole story. I don't know why I scheduled that particular doctor's appointment to fall on my birthday. Maybe after two years, I was simply gambling on receiving some good news so that I could really enjoy this one. Whatever the case, as the doctor closed the door and wished me a happy birthday, he confirmed for me that he had some really good news for me.

After reading the reports from the scan myself, I'll tell you it is not as cut and dry as he stated. He told me that the real trouble with Ipilimumab is that it acts so differently with each case. Results are solely based on the individual and include a number of varying factors. This is when Dr Spira told me that many of my tumors are either already dead or are currently in the process of dying. I have large areas of necrotic tissue where the tumor mass remains, but there is no longer any cancerous activity. I have other areas of small growth, but when all things are considered -- I've received a great benefit from this drug, and I am now classified as a respondent.

We always knew that I would get worse before getting better on this drug. The belief is that inflammation around the tumors as they were dying has been causing the pain that I've been feeling. I continue to have pain on my side, which is a result from the dead tumor which sits on top of my spleen. If my condition continues to improve and all the tumors do wind up dead, I am told there is a process in which the body will eventually absorb this dead tissue, but this will all take some time.

From what I've read, the FDA is supposed to report their findings by March 26. We should find out if Ipilimumab will receive approval for it's commercial use. If this happens, I can guarantee that I will "qualify" for another round. Otherwise, my case will have to be approved by the company's medical review board to determine if they think I can benefit from another treatment.

My next appointment with Dr Spira is on the 12th of April where I'll learn more about future treatment options. Though I got really good news this last time, this battle if far from over. As we all know by now, cancer is ugly and can become resistant and even come back with a vengeance.


jimmy_B said...

Congrats Mike!!!!!!!
Melanoma and the Magic Bullet (Monoclonal Antibodies)

Anonymous said...

Very pleased for you Mike!
I was thinking perhaps you could help your liver clear those tissues with some juicing and coffee enemas?

Laurie said...

I love your wisdom, Mike Brockey! cancer IS an ugly, sneaky, and COWARDLY disease, but it also has a wicked way of rallying just when you think it won't. That said, it never met the likes of you!

Never get complacent about the battle, but definitely take a moment to enjoy a smooth glide toward the next step. A battle won is a success no matter HOW you look at it!

So in accordance with what I always do in these situations...WOO HOO for YOU and the rest of the Brockey clan!

Continuing MY part in your fight to renewed health by sending up prayers, raising awareness, and sharing your story!

So we continue to prepare for the worst and HOPE for the best! You are a SURVIVOR, my friend...and you are LOVED!

<3 Laurie

Anonymous said...

I am so delighted to hear your great news! Outstanding! Gemma

Anonymous said...

Mike, i am from Brazil and i follow your story since 2010. My mother has cancer too.

I'm very happy for you Mike!


Olivia said...

Sooooo happy for you Mike! : ))

God bless : ))!

Joanna from Finland

Anonymous said...

Really, fantastic news! Welcome to the IRC (Ipi Responder Club). Celebrate!

-Rocco, Stage IV, ipi responder

MarcJordan said...

I'm glad to hear that you are responding to treatment and you may have come along at the right time in history. Unfortunately, my brother succumbed to melanoma this week, losing a really courageous three year battle.

It's too late for him but my prayers are with you that you become the pioneer that mankind needs in this battle.

Kelly said...

We are so happy for you!!! More good news for you! They are reporting that ipilimumab should be approved by the FDA! See the link: http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/news/oncology-hematology/single-article/fda-okay-expected-soon-for-melanoma-drug-ipilimumab/b5ab2a8df2.html

Anonymous said...

The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration today approved Yervoy (ipilimumab) to treat patients with late-stage (metastatic) melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.


Max Rosett said...

I just came across your blog while reading up on ipilimumab. I'm so glad to hear that you're responding well to it. I was diagnosed with melanoma last year as a 20 year old and have had the good fortune to be on ipilimumab. The side effects can be tough, but we're lucky to have the option.

Anonymous said...


Been following your blog for some time, and hoping for you to be restored to health. Hope the 4/12 visit brought hopeful news and that you'll update your blog to let those who follow your blog know how you are doing.

Stay strong & positive.

Michelle said...


Worried about you, haven't seen a blog entry in too long. How is treatment going? How are you?

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone who knows what is going on with Mike? I worry...

Anonymous said...

Is anyone knows what is going on with Mike? I'm worried...

Marc Jordan said...

No update in months. I silence is deafening.