Thursday, September 28, 2006

9/27/06 Good News From The Hillman Cancer Center!!!!!!!

Saw the Physican Assistant, Mellisa. It appears that the CTLA-4 has stimulated my immune system. In the pass week, I noticed that there was redness around the area where my tumors are located. Also it is becoming quite tender in that area. This is Great news!!!!! It appears that the treatment my have kick started my immune system. The only way we will know for sure is another CT scan. That is not scheduled until November 29th .
I sure hope this isn’t a false positive. Anyway, They gave me an antibiotic just in case it is an infection.
I am still quite fatiqued but I am learning to live with it. I just pretend that I am in kindergarden again. I have now set nap times. Hey, you got to do what you got to do. What’s great about it, there is no kicking or biting going on, and no time outs. I just turn on “The Days of My Live” and I instantly get a bedtime story. When I start to fall asleep, I just click off the TV with the remote.

That is it on my end.

Until then, Take Care.

Jimmy B.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

9/21/2006 Back in town!!!!

The trip was quite non eventfull.It rained most of the trip and I arrived about 10:00 am. I used valet parking this time because I knew I was not staying very long. So, I jumped out of the van and grabbed my napsack and a bag of baked goods. You know the ones. I had promised that I would bring some of Jimmy B’s baking to good the people of the Hillman Center. First stop was Joyce in the library and resource center. I just wanted to stopped in to say “Hello” and give her a piece of my new recipe. I am calling it “Vermont Apple Crumb Cake”. I know that I don’t give out recipes that often, but since it is apple picking season in Western New York, I thought that I may share it with you. Here is goes.
By the way, My wife gave it two thumbs up.
The Cake Part:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups of sliced Granny Apples
¾ cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine the first eight ingredients and beat for 3 minutes. Pour intoa greased 9 by 13-inch pan or two 8 by 8 square pans. Arrange the apple slices on top of the batter. Then sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly on top of the apples. Bake at 350 degrees . for 20 to 25 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the crumbs that will go on top of the cake.

The Crumbs Part :
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 cup butter (2 sticks melted)

In another large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 ½ cups flour,brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Pour melted butter over the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Spread evenly over the partially baked apple cake and return to the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Eat as is or serve with vanilla ice cream.

You Know what they say,"An apple a day keeps the doctor away".

I bet you can’t just eat one piece.


Next I saw Pam. She took my vital signs and some blood. It was all over in matter of minutes. Bev was working at the other hospital. So I left the cake with Pam and Heather.I hope Bev gets a piece of the cake.
Next I saw Brenda Cole, PhD , Licensed Psychologist. Round 2 of the Meditation Thrapy. The visit lasted for and hour and I was out on the road back to Rochester by noon.On the way home I did hit some road work as I was arriving into Buffalo. They were paving I 90 for about a 2 mile stretch.

I arrived in Rochester a little after 5 pm.
Back to make the journey another day. That day will be next Wednesday.
Now I know how a trucker feels like.

Take care,

Jimmy B.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

9/19/2006 Back to Pittsburgh for some tests.

Well, I will be on the road again , Wednesday the 19th for a day trip to Pittsburgh. This past week, with the New CTLA-4 trial, has sent me for a loop. I wake up exhausted.I have to push myself to get out of bed. Along with the fatigue, my muscles ache like they have lactic acid in them. Well, no pain no gain.In the meantime I think I’ll take a nap.

You are in touch , when I am in touch.

Take care.Jimmy B.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The trip to Pittsburgh for the new Clinical Trial CTLA-4. (9/13/06) Day 2 Page 2

It is going to be a long day. The first hour went fast, I completed the tradelink application for our 401 K retirement plan. The second hour I practiced the Spiritual Connection and fell asleep for the third hour. For lunch we went to the café and ate our RB sandwiches and you guessed it, split a oatmeal rasin cookie. There goes my diet!!!!!! Miss Daisy came along and just stood there. You should have seen all the looks I got when I wheeled in Miss Daisy. It was like they never saw a person with their IV fluids hanging on a rack before.The next couple of hours dragged and I was ready to rip out the IV to get the show on the road. Anyway, we got out on time and Dee would not let me drive home. Well I complained all the way to the State line. So I had to reverse my tactic. I decide to keep my mouth shut and all of a sudden Dee asked me to drive the Buffalo leg of the trip. I know she hates that leg of the trip. There are a lot more trucks on I 90. So I gladly said “Yes”. We switched at the nearest rest stop. We pulled into the our driveway about 10:00 pm. Safe and Sound.Today, I woke up exhusted.

Side effects were minimal.

We shall see

The trip to Pittsburgh for the new Clinical Trial CTLA-4. (9/13/06) Day 2 Page 1

I got up around 6:30 am to prepare for the new trial. I was quite a nervous. We both got ready and went down to the kitchen to make some coffee and breakfast. Dee and I were still full from our night out at Ritter’s Dinner. Breakfast consisted of oatmeal, coffee, and crumb cake. I love my sweets!!!!!! We then went back up stairs to pack and get ready to check out. We needed to strip our beds, clean the bathroom and take out the garbage. It did not take long because we were there for a very short stay.
I need to be back at Hillman about 9:30 am to get the CTLA-4 Treatment. The antibodies are frozen and have to be thawed slowly at room temperature. It takes about 2 hours. So guess what time I get there. Not 7:00, not 7:30 and not even 8:00 am, but at 8:30. I hate to be late!!!!! So, Bev and Heather greets me and shows me to the bed where I will be staying in for the next 6 hours. Heather also introduces me to a woman in the next room named Clair from Ohio. Clair has started the CTLA-4 Trial three months earlier. Heather is hoping this will calm my nervousness. We introduce each other and our spouses. I began to ask many questions. Ahhhh!!!!!! Someone with melanoma like me and is fighting the same battle. They first detected melanoma 2 ½ years ago on her feet. It started from a mole. She had 3 toes removed but it had spread to her lymph nodes and than to here liver. She had gone through interferon, interleukin, and dicabazine. She is now trying the CTLA-4 Trial and has been on it for about 3 months with minimal side effects. She now at the point that she will have a CT scan to see if the gotten the cancer under control. I pray that it is working. They are dairy farmers and they just sold off all of the cows. I did not have the courage to ask if it was a retirement move or a financial move. I am hoping for the best for them.
We say our good byes and I retire back into my room. Dee sets up her computer and begins to work. I get my IV put by Bev. The room is a shared room and in the other bed is an older gentleman (80 yrs) with ocular melanoma from Pa.
Ocular melanoma is melanoma of the eye. Melanoma is a cancer that develops from cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes produce the dark-coloured pigment melanin, which is responsible for the colour of our skin. These cells are found in many places in our body including the skin, hair, and lining of the internal organs, including the eye.Most melanomas begin to grow in the skin, but it is also possible for a melanoma to begin in other parts of the body, such as the eye. Ocular melanoma is the most common type of cancer to affect the eye, although, generally, it is still quite rare. Most cases are diagnosed in people in their 50s.
He was diagnosed with it 12 years ago but it has spread to his liver. He owns a construction firm and was out on the sites everyday. His support team consisted of his daughter and husband who is a retired family physician . They were very friendly group of people.
I started my CTLA-4 treatment at 9:15 am at 100 ml/hr and I had 500 mls hanging on my rack (Miss Daisy). I call the rack Miss Daisy because I have to take it with me where ever I go which includes the bathroom. I am driving Miss Daisy!!!!! This will take us to 3:15 pm and then they draw blood of a pk study an hour later. Sooooooooo, we won’t get out until about 4:30 pm and home until 10:00 pm

The trip to Pittsburgh for the new Clinical Trial CTLA-4. (9/12/06) Day 1 Page 2

Anyway, Bev, then took my blood work. There were quite a number of vials to be filled. It was approaching 10. Dee could not believe how many tubes I had to fill.It was now approaching 12:00 noon where I was suppose to meet with Brenda (Behavioral Medicine) a shrink. I had signed on to do a study on how people cope with cancer. Hey, they were going to pay me $100.00 to go through the study and I thought it was a good way to help them to help others and to help us defray the cost of travel expenses. A win, win proposition. Anyway, we were still waiting for Melissa to stop by to give me a physical exam.
Well, I ended up starting my first session with Brenda. I was a bit nervous not knowing what she and I would talk about. Session 1 “A Time of Spiritual Connection” during difficult times. We talked for about 45 minutes and then we did some meditation for ten minutes recalling a spiritual connection in the past. These special moments can help sustain us, strengthen us to see clearly what is most meaningful in our lives today. It helps ground us to reality. Anyway, the session went well.
We then went back upstairs to have my physical with Melissa. By the time everything was done, the day had slipped away. It was now 3:00 pm and we needed to check into the Shady House. We checked in room 501 would be our home for the next couple of days.So we jump into the elevator and press floor 5. As we go up, the elevator makes a sound like the AFLAC duck. You know the one that quacks. I guess it is for the seeing impaired. Our room faces Centre Ave. with the hospital across the street. Looking west, you can see the Hillman Center and the pedestrian bridge. It is about a 1/1/2 blocks away. I then give Dee a tour of the House, the kitchen, the dining room, the computer room, and the laundry room. This is her first visit to the Shady House.
We decide to go to Ritter’s Dinner for an early dinner. I have the turkey club with home fries and Dee has the chicken pita with BLT and cheese. Dessert we have our favorite, homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream. We split a piece. That is why I have gained 6 pounds. I can’t say no. To work off the dessert, I take Dee to the local grocery store about 5 blocks way. We need to pick up some Imodium AD just in case I have bad side effect from the CTLA-4 Treatment.As we start to walk back up Centre Ave. we get panhandled. I tell Dee that she should not make the trip to the store at night or alone. She agreed. We also pass a Panrea Breads and a Starbucks. Good places to stop in the future.
We arrive back at out room about 6:00 pm. I crash on the couch, while Dee does some computer work. I end up going to bed at 9:00 pm but have trouble going to sleep. The noise from all the activity in Centre Ave goes on all night. Buses, ambulances, horns, I don’t know have people can sleep in the city. It is just too noisy.

The trip to Pittsburgh for the new Clinical Trial CTLA-4. (9/12/06) Day 1 Page 1

In anticipation of the wet drive to Pittsburgh, I decide to upgrade my windshield wipers. So off to PEP Boys I went and picked up winter blades the previous day.
We left right on time (5:30 am. Traffic was light up until we reached the interstate 90 tolls just outside of Buffalo. Traffic was heavy, but was moving at a fast clip. As soon as we reached the 290 north to Buffalo/ Niagara Falls exit, it thinned out and I was able to put the van on cruise control. By now it was early morning and you could see the sky getting very dark. We were heading into a weather front. It started out drizzling and gradually got harder. I hate driving in the rain. I don’t like to hydroplane. Well, by the time we hit the state line it was coming down in buckets. At times, you could not see two car lengths in front of you. This went on for miles and miles. I was glad I had changed the wiper blades the day before.
To make a long story short, we got to Pittsburgh around 10:30 am. It was still raining quite hard. I decide to park in the Shadyside Hospital’s parking garage so we would not have to move the van after day one’s appointment, and just across Centre Ave. is the Shady House where we would be staying. The parking garage was packed. We ended up on the roof to park. Needless to say, we got drenched.
The Hillman Cancer Center is about a block and half away from the garage, but is attached to the hospital via pedestrian bridge. Similar to the Kodak’s Bldg 83 – 81 bldg bridge. So we knew we could get to the Hillman without going outside. This would be greatly beneficial during the winter months. So we mottled our way through the hospital until we came to the bridge.On the Hillman side of the bridge, there is a small café where we had coffee and home made crumb cake. We were early, so we took a break before we signed in. I called the Shady House to make sure we had a room for the night. We did.
Then we proceeded to the second floor where the outpatient center is. Pam and Beverly greeted us with great big smiles and asked us how our trip down was. We replied, “fine”.Bev took my vitals signs. I had gained 6 pounds in the last two weeks. I was caught. I been baking up a storm and eating for two. My sister Jody had just completed a visit and we cooked, baked ,and ate like there was no tomorrow. We had just bought a recipe book at Bauman’s Farm market and had to try some recipes.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Joke of the day!!!!!!

Thanks to Bill Mills
A lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a sheriff's deputy. He thinks that he is smarter than the deputy because he is a lawyer from New York and is certain that he has a better education then any cop from Houston. He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the deputy's expense.Deputy says, "License and registration, please."
Lawyer says, "What for?"
Deputy says, "You didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign."
Lawyer says, "I slowed down, and no one was coming."
Deputy says, "You still didn't come to a complete stop. License and registration, please."
Lawyer says, "What's the difference?"
Deputy says, "The difference is, you have to come to complete stop, that's the law. License and registration, please!"
Lawyer says, "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I'll give you my license and registration; and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket."
Deputy says, "Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir." At this point, the deputy takes out his nightstick and starts beating the ever-loving crap out of the lawyer and says, "Do you want me to stop or just slow down?"

Friday, September 8, 2006

Open the envelope Please!!!!!

I have got all that I need! MRI is negative. CT scans do not show anything unexpected. Your blood work is looking great! What time should I put you on the schedule for on Tuesday? I figured around 1pm that way you could drive in. You will report to Pam in the GCRC like you did before when you were with her before. We will do labs and exam there. I did not send you a calender because I could not get the program to copy and paste into Word. I will have it for you on Tuesday.Hope all is well. Talk to you soon!


Waiting for News!!!

I am on pins and needles waiting for the results of the scans. I hope it will be good news.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Hanging 5 in the tube today.

Hanging 5 in the tube today.

Surfs UP!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

At 8:49 am, I received a call from Dr. Steven Rosenberg’s Office!!!

I received a call from Dr. Rosenberg’s office this morning while I was at Dr. Marino’s office. Kathy Morton (Research Nurse) contacted me by phone and asked a few questions about my health. She went on to say if I go with the CTLA-4 therapy, it would take about 2 months to washout before I could try the Gene Therapy. They would also have to do a colon biopsy to check the colon for any adverse conditions from the CTLA_4. She then gave me her direct phone number if I want to pursue the gene therapy at a later date.

Cool, the ducks are lining up quite nicely.

Tomorrow I go for a CT Scan at 3:30 pm and a MRI at 5:30 pm. It will be a busy afternoon.

That is it for now.

9/5/06 Off to the Doctor’s Office this Morning

I will be off to Dr. Marino’s Office this morning. I will be having an EKG and some preliminary blood work done.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Just lining up My Ducks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

am Contacting Dr. Steven A.Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
He is the lead the researcher on the Gene Therapy Trials.Log onto the CBS website for the story!!!!!!
The research team recently applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to try the new cells in about 100 patients. The FDA is expected to respond to the request by mid-September.
Dr. Rosenberg, I just got the news of your Gene Therapy Experiments. The initial results look somewhat promising. I applauded you and your team for making great strides in the cure for melanoma cancer.I am a cancer patient (48 yrs. old) under the care of Dr. John Kirkwood at the Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh. I have gone through a wide incision, lymph nodes removal, Interferon therapy, and Dicarbazine therapy without success. I am presently on track to start a clinical trial with CTLA-4 monoclonal antibodies September 13, 2006. I have some tumors on my right side of my back and some in each lobe of my lungs. I would like to be considered for your next round of Gene Therapy in the coming months if I have no response to the CTLA-4 treatment. Please let me know if you would need a copy of my medical records to date.Thanks again for the great work you are doing and I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Best Regards,

Jim Breitfeller

Scientists alter blood cells in attempt to treat melanoma Gene therapy stops cancer in 2 dying men

Scientists alter blood cells in attempt to treat melanomaGene therapy stops cancer in 2 dying men


WASHINGTON - Mark Origer entered the last-ditch experiment hoping to beat back his melanoma for a few months, long enough to walk his daughter down the aisle. He got far luckier: Almost two years later, his body shows no signs of the invasive cancer that starts on the skin.Government scientists rescued Origer and one other man with advanced melanoma by genetically altering their own white blood cells to turn them into tumor fighters.The treatment didn't help 15 other melanoma victims. So scientists are trying to strengthen it to work better.Still, the National Cancer Institute called its experiment, revealed Thursday, the first real success in the long quest for gene therapy for cancer - because it fought the disease's worst stage, when it had spread through the body, not just single tumors.And it did so in a way far different from today's standard options - by harnessing patients' immune systems to continually search out and kill tumors."It's not like chemotherapy or radiation, where as soon as you're done, you're done," said Dr. Steven Rosenberg, the NCI surgery chief who led the research reported Thursday by the journal Science. "We're giving living cells, which continue to grow and function in the body."Doctors can't predict how the therapy's first two successful patients will fare long-term. Melanoma, which kills almost 8,000 Americans annually, is notorious for returning years after patients think they've subdued it."I'm cured for now," Origer, 53, of Watertown, Wis., puts it gratefully.He recalls his doctors' wide grins when, just a month after his December 2004 treatment, his tumors started to shrink. By his daughter's wedding last fall, just one small cancerous spot remained, on his liver. Surgeons later cut it out. A checkup from NCI doctors this week confirmed that Origer is still cancer-free."I know how fortunate I am to have gone through this and responded to this. Not everybody's that lucky," he said.Cancer specialists praised the work, but warned that years of additional research are needed."Clearly this is a first step," cautioned Dr. Len Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society. "We have to be very cautious about not raising hopes too much."But he added: "It is exciting. It certainly is a proof of concept that this approach will work."More importantly, the gene therapy can be customized to create cells that should attack more common cancers, said Dr. Patrick Hwu, melanoma chairman at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas, who once worked with the NCI team.In a few months, the NCI team hopes to begin studying the approach in small numbers of patients with advanced breast, colon and other cancers.White blood cells called T-lymphocytes hunt down germs and other foreign tissue.But cancerous cells look a lot like healthy cells, making it hard for those T-cells to spot a problem.By 2002, Rosenberg had made a breakthrough. He found small numbers of cancer-fighting T-cells inside some patients with advanced melanoma. He literally pulled those cells out of their blood and grew billions more of them in laboratory dishes, enough to have a chance at overwhelming a tumor when they're pumped back into patients. About half significantly improve after this cell-transfer therapy.But few melanoma patients make enough cancer-fighting T-cells naturally to be spotted in their bloodstream, and T-cells that attack other cancers are virtually impossible to find. So Rosenberg and colleagues set out to create those tumor fighters from scratch.The scientists took normal lymphocytes - ones that don't recognize cancer - out of patients with advanced melanoma who had exhausted their treatment options. They infected those cells with a virus carrying genes that create T-cell receptors, essentially homing devices for, in this case, melanoma. (Different genes create receptors for other cancers.)"We can take a normal cell from you or me or any patient and ... convert that cell into a cell that recognizes the cancer," Rosenberg explained.Here's the key: When scientists infused the newly armed cells into 17 patients, only Origer and his fellow survivor maintained super-high levels for more than a year, and only their tumors gradually faded. In most of the other patients, only low levels of the tumor-fighting cells persisted for a few months.No patients suffered serious side effects, although they required a few weeks of chemotherapy to suppress their natural immune system and make room for the extra T-cells.Why did those cells flourish in only two people?"That's the critical question," said M.D. Anderson's Hwu.Picking the right lymphocyte to alter genetically isn't easy - there are many different kinds - or perhaps more precise T-cell receptors were needed for the cells to take root better and do the job, he suggested."These are all solvable issues," Hwu stressed, calling the study "one of the first documented, effective cases of cancer gene therapy working."

This might end up as one of my options down the road.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Response from Luis Camacho

Dear Jim,
Its good to hear from you. I am happy to see you are in great hands and have tried the best forms of therapy now available.

Please feel free to call me at (713)745-5252 if you have any questions or would like my opinion.


Luis H. Camacho, MD, MPHAssistant Professor
Phase I ProgramDivision of Cancer Medicine
U. T. M D Anderson Cancer Center
OFF (713)745-5252 / FAX (713)745-5247

I will give him a call.

Can you believe this?????

I actually spoke to Luis Camacho back on October 24th 2005 through an e-mail. At the time I was a stage 2b. Anyway I have sent him a letter for any updates on his CTLA-4 trials.
Luis, we spoke through e-mail back on 10/24/2005. At the time, I was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma and was not at the correct stage for treatment with CTLA-4. I have now gone through wide incision, interferon, removal of the lymph nodes, dicarbazine treatment without any success. I was also the wrong HLA typification for any vaccine trials. I will be starting CTLA-4 trial with Dr. Kirkwood at the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh. I am now sick enough, with tumors on my back and small nodules in both lobes of my lungs. Is there any more data or information on your CTLA-4 trials that you can share with me? Also, If I don’t respond to the CTLA-4 treatment, what kind of options do I have left? Any help with information would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

Jim Breitfeller

CP-675,206, a novel monoclonal antibody, enlists the immune system to fight advanced melanoma

PRONUNCIATION tis i lim’ ue mab
THERAPEUTIC CLAIM treatment of cancer
Some Positve Test results of the CTLA-4
Early testing of an experimental human monoclonal antibody showed a striking benefit in patients with advanced melanoma, say researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, who presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Of 39 patients given a single injection of CP-675,206 (known as CP-675), tumors disappeared in three patients, shrunk in a fourth patient, and cancer stopped growing in five other patients. These responses have remained since their initial treatment, which ranged from 13 to 28 months ago.
Most of the patients in the trial had advanced melanoma, which has a median survival of less than a year, says the study's principal investigator, Luis Camacho, M.D., MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology.
"We were very pleasantly surprised to find such objective antitumor responses in a Phase I clinical trial, which is designed to find the ideal dose and to look for side effects," says Camacho. "These results are very early, but they are encouraging to us because there are no good agents available to treat melanoma once it has spread."
The researchers gradually increased the amount of the initially tested dose by 1,500 fold, evaluating seven different dose levels, before they found higher doses that both produced an effect and had tolerable side effects. Most of the patients who did not respond to the drug were those treated with the lower doses, the investigators say.
The study was conducted at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and at the University of California, Los Angeles. A collaborating researcher is Jesus Gomez Navarro, M.D., clinical director of the monoclonal antibody program at Pfizer, Inc., which developed the antibody and is sponsoring the clinical trial.
The researchers say the antibody seems to act as a "nonspecific immune booster" which enlists the immune system to fight cancer. It acts by blocking a key negative regulator of the activity of the immune system. This regulator, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA4), stops activated immune cells from attacking the body's own tissues. The antibody, in turn, stops the function of CTLA4, a receptor that works as "the brakes" of the immune system.
Like a vaccine, CP-675 seems to continue to work long after patients receive the single two- to four-hour injection, Camacho says. "We believe the monoclonal antibody enlists the immune system to fight any new cancer cells trying to grow," he says.
The antibody may work particularly well in melanoma, he adds, because previous research has shown the immune system, if activated, can recognize this cancer.
Because the antibody allowed the immune system to attack cells that "looked" similar to the body's own, researchers worried that it could produce autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. But the only side effects that were observed, including rashes and diarrhea, occurred at the highest doses and were resolved without long-term problems, Camacho says.
Based on the results, Pfizer has launched a Phase II study, which is enrolling 100 patients at seven institutions nationwide. Camacho will serve as the principal investigator for this trial as well.

Additional contact information:
Laura SussmanASCOCell: 832-264-8893
Julie PenneTel: 713-792-0655Cell: 281-460-1788
Contact: Julie
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Greetings to One and All

This Blog is dedicated My Brother Kenny B. who passed away in the late 1970's with Cancer before the Internet.

It was he, who showed me How to live and give back. He was wise beyond his years.

Kenny B

Jimmy and Dee

Carepage: Jimmybreitfeller
Jimmy Breitfeller

My Profile as of 2009

My photo
Last July (2005)I was riding my bicycle to work at the Eastman Kodak Research Labs about 3 miles from home. I was wearing a knapsack to carry my things to and from the labs. I started noticing an ache on my back. So I decide to go to the dermatologist. To make the long story short, it was cancer. I knew from my research that I would be needing adjuvant therapy. So I started communicating with Sloan Kettering, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center, and a couple of others including the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong. I realized that by telling my story, I might help someone else out there in a similar situation. So to all who are linked by diagnosis or by relation to someone with melanoma, I wish you well. Stay positive, read as much as you can (information helps to eliminate the fear associated with the unknown), and live for today, as no one can predict what tomorrow may bring. Jimmy B. posted 12/15/08


The information contained within this Blog is not meant to replace the examination or advice of your Oncologist or Medical Team. The educational material that is covered here or Linked to, does not cover every detail of each disorder discussed.

Only your physician/Oncologist can make medical decisions and treatment plans that are appropriate for you. But, An Educated Consumer is a Smart consumer.

As Dr. Casey Culberson Said:

"The BEST melanoma patient is an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT in his or her treatment

Melanoma and the “Magic Bullet” (Monoclonal Antibodies)

Just to let you know I posted the first draft of the Melanoma and the “Magic Bullet” (Monoclonal Antibodies). on Melanoma Missionary In the Shared File Section. you can download it for 19.95 (Only kidding) it is Free for the taking.

It is 33 pages long and may help you in your quest for the Yellow Brick Broad. Just to let you know it is only the first draft. Revisions are sure to come. I wanted to get it to the people that need it the most, the Melanoma Patients.


So, where does Interluekin-2 (IL-2) come into play? According to Byung-Scok et al and recent reports, IL-2 is not needed for developmental CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells in the thymus but does play an important role in the maintenance and function in the peripheral.18 Peripheral is defines as secondary system outside the bone marrow and thymus. It entails the site of antigen, immune system interaction. IL-2 is required for the peripheral generation of Tregs based Abbas’s and colleagues research.19

IL-2 prevents the spontaneous apoptosis of the CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells. It has been reported that patients with multiple advance-stage tumors have elevated levels of Tregs within the tumor microenviroment.20 Interluekin-2 is the survival factor for CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells.21 If the addition of IL-2 is on or before the maximum propagation of the CD4+ T cells, the Tregs population can increase 5-fold in a 96 hour period based on certain growth mediums.

By controlling the addition of the endogenous IL-2, one has a knob to turn and can lead to the control of the expansion of the Tregs. When you combined this control with the anti-CTLA-4 blockage, you can shift the balance of the immune response.

Now here is the catch. The maintenance and function of the CD8+ T-cells require CD4+ cells which secrete IL-2. So we don’t want to deplete the CD4+ cells, we want to control the expansion of the Tregs which are a subset of the CD4+ cells. It has been postulated by some researchers that the Anti-CTLA-4 blockage also suppresses the Treg function in a different mechanism. By using IL-2 as the rate limiting factor, we can suppress the CD4+ CD25+ Treg cell expansion by controlling the concentration and timing of the Inerluekin-2 at the tumor microenvironment.

The Interluekin-2 plays another role in this Melanoma Maze. In a study by Janas et al, Il-2 increases the expressions of the perforin and granzyme A, B and C genes in the CD8+ T-cells. This increase expression causes the CD8+ T-cells to mature into Cytoxic T Lymphocytes (CTLs). The exogenous IL-2 is required for the granzyme proteins. As stated previously, CTLs have cytoplasmic granules that contain the proteins perforin and granzymes. A dozen or more perforin molecules insert themselves into the plasma membrane of target cells forming a pore that enables granzymes to enter the cell. Once in the tumor cell, these enzymes are able to breakup (lyse) the cell and destroy it. This is the beginning of the end for the cancer cells. The tumors begin to shrink and the rest is history,

On the other hand, prolong therapy with Il-2 can result in causing apoptotic death of the tumor- specific CD8+ T-cells.23

Clearly in a clinical setting, timing, dose, and exposure to these drugs play a major roll in the immunotherapy, and can have dramatic effects on the outcome.

All it takes is that one magic bullet to start the immune reaction..

Melanoma And The Magic Bullet (Monoclonal Antibodies)

Public Service Announcement

A call for Melanoma Patients by Dr. Steven A Rosenberg

"We continue to see a high rate of clinical responses in our cell transfer immunotherapy treatments for patients with metastatic melanoma", Dr. Rosenberg said.

"We are actively seeking patients for these trials and any note of that on a patient-directed web site would be appreciated."

If you would like to apply for his trials, here is the website and information.

Dr. Rosenberg's information

Dr. Rosenberg's Clinical Trials

For the Warriors

The Melanoma Research Alliance has partnered with Bruce Springsteen, the E Street Band, and the Federici family to alleviate suffering and death from melanoma. Please view Bruce Springsteen’s public service announcement inspired by Danny Federici. Danny was the E Street Band’s organist and keyboard player. He died on April 17, 2008 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after a three year battle with melanoma.

Source Fastcures blog

Join the Relay for Life!!!


Dear Family and Friends,

I’ve decided to take a stand and fight back against cancer by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® event right here in my community! Please support me in this important cause by making a secure, tax-deductible donation online using the link below.

To donate on line now, click here to visit my personal page.
Jimmy B AKA Melanoma_Missionary

Relay For Life® is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people worldwide to:

CELEBRATE the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.

REMEMBER loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

FIGHT BACK. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.

Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Keep the Fire Burning!!!



Jimmy Breitfeller
Turn off Music before you "Click to Play"
Signs of Melanoma Carcinoma Skin Cancer

How Skin Cancer Develops by " : Dermatology"

Call for Patients with Unresectable Liver Metastases Due to Melanoma

Delcath Systems Granted Orphan-Drug Designations for Cutaneous and Ocular Melanoma

Delcath is actively enrolling patients in a Phase III clinical trial testing its proprietary drug delivery system, known as Percutaneous Hepatic Perfusion (“PHP”), with melphalan for the treatment of ocular and cutaneous melanoma metastatic to the liver.

This NCI-led trial is enrolling patients at leading cancer centers throughout the United States. Commenting on these orphan-drug designations, Richard L. Taney, President and CEO of Delcath, stated, “These favorable designations are important steps in our efforts to secure Delcath’s commercial position upon conclusion of our pivotal Phase III trial for metastatic melanoma. We remain steadfast in our commitment to become the leader in the regional treatment of liver cancers and we continue to enroll patients in this study, and advance our technology and the promise that it offers to patients with these deadly forms of melanoma and other cancers of the liver, all with limited treatment options.”

Orphan drug designation, when granted by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development, allows for up to seven years of market exclusivity upon FDA approval, as well as clinical study incentives, study design assistance, waivers of certain FDA user fees, and potential tax credits.

Current Trial Centers

Phase I Study of Hepatic Arterial Melphalan Infusion and Hepatic Venous Hemofiltration Using
Percutaneously Placed Catheters in Patients With Unresectable Hepatic Malignancies

James F. Pingpank, Jr., MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Surgical Oncology
Suite 406, UPMC Cancer Pavillion
5150 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
412-692-2852 (Office)
412-692-2520 (Fax)

Blog Archive

Call For Melanoma Patients!!!!

Call For Melanoma Patients!!!!

Dr. Rosenberg Has a New Clinical Trial.

Our latest treatment has a 72% objective response rate with 36% complete responses.

We are currently recruiting patients for our latest trial.

Is there some way to post this “Call for Patients” on the web site?

Steve Rosenberg

Dr. Rosenberg's Clinical Trials

(For a copy of the research paper.. see My Shared files)

The news headlines shown above for Melanoma / Skin Cancer are provided courtesy of Medical News Today.