Diane is in safe hands

Diane is in safe hands

19 July 2019

Diane Berki, 54, went for a routine breast screen where she was told there were two lumps and a lymph node that looked abnormal. Her biopsy results revealed Stage III melanoma.

Within a week she was at MIA under the expert care of Professor Andrew Spillane. The mutation in her melanoma made her a perfect candidate for an MIA-led clinical trial of a combination of targeted and immunotherapy called NeoTrio, and Professor Spillane referred her to his colleague, MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Georgina Long.

“I can’t thank Professor Spillane, Professor Long and Jane, my Clinical Trial Coordinator, enough. I couldn’t be in better hands.”

In the eight weeks after starting treatment, Diane’s largest tumour shrank from 40mm to 8mm, and when it was analysed after her surgery, just 5% of the melanoma was still present.

“I feel like a big weight has come off my shoulders. There is always that thought in the back of your head – what if it comes back? – but hopefully it will stay away. My life has been saved and I am determined to make the most of every day.”

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After a car accident many years ago, walking for long periods is difficult for Diane. But that didn’t stop her signing up for this year’s Picton Melanoma March, where she raised over $1,800 and was the highest fundraiser at the Picton event. “Now, it’s all about giving back as much as I can.”

Catch up on the latest news from Melanoma Institute Australia in our Winter edition of Momentum.