Abc7NY—Medical Marvels: Using immunotherapy for melanoma that spread to the brain
Fresh powder blanketed the Colorado mountain, and Meline Dickson and her friends took to the slopes to enjoy a beautiful day of skiing. It was the winter of 2013, and something felt off on that first day for Meline, chest pains surged out of nowhere. When she got checked at a local medical center, Meline received a shocking diagnosis of stage 4 melanoma.
Lesions were found on her brain, lungs, and liver. She flew back home that day and started treatment with Dr. Richard Carvajal, Director of the Melanoma Service. In this video, Meline shares her long road to recovery that included multiple surgeries, radiation therapy, and finally a new immunotherapy treatment that saved her life.
Dr. Carvajal says, "When I started treating melanoma ten years ago if we saw a patient like Meline we never talked about cure." But with new immunotherapy drugs cure is more than just possibility. "It’s amazing! This was a fatal disease ten years ago, and the fact is now we’re curing forty percent of patients."
Meline’s prognosis is outstanding. She has been symptom-free for three years, and Dr. Carvajal is confident the melanoma will not be a problem again.