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  • in reply to: Introduction / Welcome #98218

    Thank you, Mary!

    Yes,  we did do tumor profiling by Caris Life Sciences out of Arizona but I was already taking the Keytruda.  The molecular testing was done as an option in the event the Keytruda and Gemzar/Cisplatan did not work and I needed to find another clinical trial for treatment.  At least that was my understanding of it.

    Have a terrific week,


    in reply to: Introduction / Welcome #98193

    Hello and I wanted to introduce myself and share my CC story.

    My name is Chris Shepard.  I went through 2 years and three months of immuno-therapy treatments (Yervoy and Keytruda) starting in 2014 for Stage IV Melanoma.  I had a tumor in my leg and the melanoma spread through my lymphatic system to my lungs and liver.  Thankfully, I responded well to the treatments and am currently in remission or NED.

    In April of 2018, I had a maintenance scan done that showed a “shadow” on my liver.  It was not present 6 months prior at my previous scan.  It turned out to be an aggressive CC tumor.  I had no side effects and was feeling really good as I was training for a 100 mile bike ride up at Lake Tahoe. My oncologist, Dr. Steven O’Day at the Saint John’s John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, started me on Gemzar and Cisplatan Chemo infusions which are a treatment standard for CC.  He also found a couple clinical trials that showed initial success treating CC with immuno-therapy.  He reached out to Merck and made the justification case for me to treated with Keytruda while I was doing the chemo through a special Merck Access Program.  I was basically a one person clinical trial.

    October of 2018,  my scans showed the tumor had stopped growing and the CA 19 9 Enzyme was down to much lower levels.  Actually,  the tumor shrunk significantly and oncologist and surgical oncologist decided to remove what is left via surgery.  They did not know what caused the reduction in the tumor.  Was it the chemo, was it the Keyruda or a combination of both. In surgery, they removed my gallbladder, about 30% of my liver,  and removed lymph nodes in the area that they believed were impacted by CC.  The surgery was deemed a success and they were able to remove 99.5% of the CC.  My lymph nodes were impacted and I was considered Stage IIIB.

    They dissected the tumor and sent it to a lab for analysis to determine what caused the reduction in size.  The tumor was dead and it was encased in lymphocytes (white blood cells).  This showed the Keytruda was successful in energizing the T-Cells to recognize the CC tumor and attack it.  My oncologist (and my family) was very happy with the results and  I continue to get Keytruda infusions every three weeks to address the minute .5% of CC left in my body.

    I cannot tell you how fortunate my family and I feel to be in remission of two very serious cancer diagnoses in the last 5 years.  I wanted to share my experience / story to hopefully inspire and help others that are dealing with this horrible disease.  If you wish,  I wrote a more detailed description of the process on my Caring Bridge Website located at

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.  Wishing you all the best!

    Chris Shepard

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