20 May 2015
Adam Brown, 34, was diagnosed with advanced-stage melanoma in November 2013. After being referred to Professor Stretch at MIA, Adam underwent a bilateral lymph node dissection.
Adam’s fiancée, Kristy, was 8 months pregnant with their first baby when they got the news that the melanoma had spread.
“After my initial diagnosis, they thought they had cleared everything that had spread to the nodes and I got a follow-up scan which was clear, but then in late September my fiancé noticed marble-like lump near the scar near the original surgery and I was told the melanoma had returned,” Adam says.
“I had a PET scan which showed evidence of a tumour on the right side of the lung. It was after that I met with Professor Georgina Long to discuss clinical trial options.”
It wasn’t until December that Adam got the green light to go on the Anti-PD1 clinical trial.
“It was a very difficult couple of weeks before my son Harry was born. I started to question everything and was wondering how long I would go on for. For some people, the cancer can just take hold, so I was questioning how long I would get to spend with Kristy and our baby.
“These drugs have allowed me to be alive for the birth of my son, and I can look at him every day knowing that I will get to see him grow a little bit more.”
New melanoma treatments are making a real difference to patients and their families like Adam, giving them hope when previously there was none.
“MIA gave me a lot of hope that the new research and treatment options could really work for me and were really honest about my condition. There are difficult days but I’ve had a lot of support from MIA and people in my life and it has made it easy for me to face each day with a positive outlook.
“Not thinking about it day in and day out and getting on with life as normal was really important for me to stay focused. I now don’t’ waste any days worrying about the unknown, I spend as much time as I can with Kristin, my baby boy and my family and friends as that is what is important.”
Patients like Adam are benefiting from anti-PD-1 immunotherapy treatment, but 30-40 percent of patients are still not responding, and this is what we need to fix, but we need your help!
“The thing that I have been reminded of after my diagnosis is the developments of recent melanoma treatments. It has come such a long way in a short time with a lot of positive outcomes for patients like me, who five years ago wouldn’t have been so lucky. Hopefully, the people not responding now to treatments will be really soon with research and developments that are just around the corner.”