Friday, December 22, 2006

12/22/2006 I will be starting round 3 on January 2nd 2007 (Interlukin-2)

Well, I got the word that I will be admitted to Shadyside Hospital on 1/2/2007 for my next round of therapy. I will try to push my body a little harder this time.

At this time I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Your emails have given me great strength to push the envelope of life. I been awakened to the true meaning of friendship. Words cannot describe what my heart is feeling right now. You have reached out to me and have made me a part of your extended family. You have cheered me on through thick and thin. And when I was down, you picked me up. You never left my side, and for this, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Have a wonderful Holiday!!!!!

Jimmy B.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

12/19/06 I got an Early Christmas Present!!!!!!!!!!

I got an Early Christmas Present!!!!!!!!!! Ho Ho Ho!!!!!!!

Heather just contacted me about the CT Scan. She said “Are you sitting down”. I was thinking the worst. “I have good news for you.

The 40 + nodules in the lungs are down in number to only 10 and most of them have shrunk down considerable.The ones on your back also shrank.” This is the best news I heard all year. This means that the Interlukin-2 is working, and I will continue on the regiment after the Holidays.

With my new facial growth, I now look the part of jolly old St. Nick.

What a Christmas Present.

Thanks for all your support!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take Care

Jimmy B.

Monday, December 11, 2006

12/08/2006 CT Scan Schedule for Thursday December 14th

I got the script in the mail from Doris to go ahead and make arrangements for the CT Scan. So I contacted University of Rochester at Science Park and schedule an appointment. It is schedule for Thursday at 2:15 pm. I’m hoping to get an early Christmas present when the results come back.
In the meantime, my weight has gone from 242 lbs. to 222. So I have lost 20 lbs. of water weight and still need to drop another 10 lbs. The last 10 are harder to lose.

The headaches have subsided and most of the rash and itching have gone. I still have trouble walking long distances. My ankles still swell quite a bit if I am on my feet to long.

That is it for now.

Take care and thanks for all your support!!!!!!

Jimmy B.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

11/5/2006 Life and Time of a Typical Cycle of IL-1 Treatment

Page # 2

What are the side effects of IL-2 therapy?

IL-2 therapy can cause a number of side effects including: low blood pressure, fevers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, infection, chills, swelling and weight gain, confusion, skin rashes, and changes in your liver and blood chemistries.

Fortunately, they can prevent and treat these side effects as they arise. A couple of hours before your treatment begins, you will begin taking three medications to help prepare your body and reduce your chance of developing fevers, chills, and nausea. During the course of your hospital stay you will receive antibiotics to prevent you from acquiring any infections. If you experience low blood pressure, they will administer fluids or medications to raise your pressure and make you feel more comfortable. Medications are also available to reduce skin rashes and prevent itching.

How many doses of IL-2 will I receive?

In general, you will receive as many doses of IL-2 as you can safely tolerate—up to a maximum of 15 doses over the period of your stay. Doses are given approximately every 8 hours and each dose takes around 15 minutes to administer. A nurse will draw your blood every morning and the medical staff will evaluate your status throughout the day. During treatment other medications and fluids can be given through the PICC line.You will receive 2 cycles of IL-2 therapy given 3 weeks apart. Each cycle consists of about 5-7 days of in-hospital treatment. A CT (computed tomography) scan is taken 4 weeks after the completion of the first course (2 cycles). If the scan shows a response to the therapy, your physician may recommend that you come back for additional courses.

I am at the stage where I have to wait 4 weeks to have a CT scan done. So, I’ll be home for Christmas.

Take Care

Jimmy B.

11/5/2006 Life and Time of a Typical Cycle of IL-1 Treatment

Page # 1

What is Il-2

IL-2 is a type of natural protein, called a cytokine, produced by the body. It stimulates the white blood cells known as T-lymphocytes (T-cells) to grow and divide. T-cells are an important part of the body’s immune system. Giving IL-2 in highdoses stimulates the patient’s immune system to better recognize and destroy cancer cells. High-dose IL-2 is an FDA-approved, inpatient therapy to treat metastatic melanoma (advanced skin cancer) and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (advanced kidney cancer). Metastatic disease refers to cancers that have spread beyond the original site to additional tissues and organs.

What are the benefits of IL-2?

High-dose IL-2 has resulted in disease regression in 15% to 20% of patients with advanced melanoma and advanced kidney cancer. About 6% to 8% of these patients experience lasting or complete regression of all disease.

What happens when I arrive at the hospital?

IL-2 is an inpatient therapy. On your first day, you will check in on the second floor of the Hillman Cancer Center (5115 Centre Ave). Once admitted, you will have blood drawn for routine tests and introduce you to a nurse who will record your vital signs and conduct a brief medical interview. You will then receive your paperwork and be directed to the Admissions and Testing at the Shadyside Hospital (5200 Centre Ave). Upon arrival, the floor clerk will direct you to the waiting room to have a PICC line put in.The nurse will call your name and you follow him to insert your PICC line. The doctors will stop by to answer any questions and to discuss the placement of the Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) line. The PICC line is a small, flexible tube inserted into a vein in your arm and threaded upwards towards your heart. The line is usedto administer IL-2.Once the PICC line is put in, you will go back to Admissions and Testing to receive your room number. You then proceed to your room.

How is IL-2 given?

Once you are settled into your room, one of the nurses will also provide you with a small pouch to wear around your neck. This pouch contains a box that is connected by wires to adhesive patches on your chest. It enables the dedicated Telemetry Service to monitor your heart rate and rhythm at all times during your stay. You will then begin to receiveIL-2 therapy.

11/05/2006 Off to have some blood done !!!!!!

Well, the last two nights have been rough. I didn’t get much sleep due to the side effects of the chemo. I gained about 30 lbs. of water weight again and my skin won’t stop itching. I also had coughing fits in the middle of the night causing me to toss and turn to the point where I went downstairs to sleep on the couch so Dee would get a good night of sleep. I got very restless. Things were getting out of control so I decided to do something to jump start my body to start losing the water weight. Going against the Doctors advice, I took lasix pill last night. What Is lasix?

Lasix is a loop diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt, allowing the salt to instead be passed in your urine
Lasix treats fluid retention (edema) in people with congestive heart failure, liver disease, or a kidney disorder such as nephrotic syndrome. Lasix is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

To help keep me hydrated, I been drinking plenty of bottled water. Let us see if this will put me on the road to recovery.

That is it for now.

Jimmy B.

Monday, December 4, 2006

12/4/06 I cried Uncle after the 8th dose of IL-2!!!!!!!

The 8th dose was all that I could handle. I could have pushed for one more dose, or even skipped a dose and then continued but I thought my health might be in jeopardy. My body could handle only what I thought possible. So, instead of saying please Sir, I want some more, I mustered up a loud Uncle!!!!!! The cardiologist wanted me to have the next dose, but I knew in my heart it would break me. So I drew the line in the sand and never look back. I figured that I had a 50/50 chance that the one extra dose would make a difference in the CT Scan. If the CT Scan shows shrinkage of the tumor, then I would push my body a little bit more. Everything hinges on the CT scan.

So Dee came for me Sunday December 3, 2006. I was all packed and was just waiting to get the PICC line removed and the discharge papers to arrive. I could not wait to get out of there. Confined to 12 by 12 room with a bathroom, bed, and shower for five days is no fun at all. I was climbing the walls. Well I finally got released around 1:30 pm and we were home by 7:30 pm. We stopped to have a bite to eat because there was no way I was going to cook . I was exhausted from the trip. But now I am well on my way to recovering from this round of Chemo.

That is it for now

Take Care

Jimmy B.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

12/2/2006 Sorry the computer was off line for a couple of days

I will be starting my 8th dose this morning. I am at weight of 239.6 lbs. So this my be my last dose. The first round I tipped the scale at 243lbs.

The swelling is not as bad and I am trying to keep up with lubriderm for my ankes and legs.

Time will only tell.

Jimmy B.

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.