OMF - Chris Silver, 53, melanoma, South Berwick, ME, with Dr. Elizabeth Buchbinder, medical oncology, melanoma (skin cancer), Dana-Farber 8-16-17

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 16th

Chris Silver was diagnosed with melanoma in July 2016 when a couple of irregular skin bumps brought him into his doctor’s office. He underwent surgery to remove the bumps. When Chris woke up, his doctor informed him that he had melanoma and he had already made an appointment for him to see Dr. Beth Buchbinder, a melanoma specialist at Dana-Farber.Chris began treatment at Dana-Farber with a new class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors or immunotherapy agents – a type of treatment that activate the body’s immune system to attack the cancer. Immunotherapy is helping many cancer patients, but especially those patients with melanoma, to achieve durable remissions that even 5 years ago were not possible. Much of the research that led to the development of these lifesaving drugs were done by scientists at Dana-Farber. In December, Chris' wife Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, Melissa’s cancer was caught early and today she is cancer free. Chris is doing well himself aside for some from some fatigue. Chris is back to work and when he’s not on the job or fighting cancer, he enjoys camping, kayaking, and hiking.

Dr. Buchbinder can talk about how Dana-Farber is leading the way in immunotherapy agents, called checkpoint inhibitors, which take the breaks off the body’s immune system so that it can recognize and fight the cancer. Immunotherapy is exactly the type of groundbreaking therapy that Dana-Farber works to advance, and which has produced dramatic remissions in patients that had previously untreatable disease.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I let's read our first yesterday at its Christian over he's from south. Berwick Maine. And he's here with his doctor doctor Elizabeth book mind it's great to meet you this morning. So one day you found out you had some type of skin bump right. We're wasn't. Dom I had one on my shoulder. One of my right reared and one of Michael about drug Figaro that knows him. Yes it they just appeared out of nowhere probably about the size of great with a little low block and Lamar he went in there to remove here. I went to my general practitioner first care just to see if he had and I hear one more laws and now I have no clue. You know you need to go you know he gave me the name of the surgeon. And then you. It wasn't more than a week and Al. When I was coming out of anesthesia. On here already had done the book on card and you know this is where you need ago. So you're you're a jerk as you're coming out a week and a candidate you view of the first thing you see is nothing not rainbows and lollipops but. They're giving you all the lies if. First thing I so was my wife got have been crying. And I'm coming down like what's room suite of cancer. Today. What's the big deal. She's no you don't understand have cancer. All right you know that's fine and then he would come in aces you know I know this. Mormon down in Boston you ruin your ego and it needs be taken care so doctor what media says. Which is his skin cancer that can arise from the pigment cells in this game and can mean very serious and many years ago was. Incredibly serious exactly we've got a lot of new treatments really exciting things are doing it actually. Controlling. Her because people. How does it shortened bulbs though on the and so what can happen is it can spend a lot of different ways it can spread. Along asking can spread in the but its bread and butter common fat ex pitcher like Stuart channel for a body. And what happened as it can kind of bump along the skin and grow underneath the skin and formed little lumps that are little bits of cancers that are growing beneath the skin. You know duck and we we actually heard a lot of people yesterday bring up does it immunotherapy app and it's either that they came up a lot and it seems to elect a new name to end you know we've been doing this for awhile and here initiated the apartment kind of leading the way in it what exactly is immune therapy. Sony can't be incredibly exciting so what it is as it's actually using treatments to get a person's own immune system to attack the cancer. Zero immune system knows the cancers not supposed to be there but the cancer figures out ways to stop it. It puts up shields or it gets the immune system out of the area where the cancer is and what they what happens that he's in in their visas over comes back. So it gets immune system in there it can attach to cancer can destroy it. And if it really learns what that cancer look but looks like it can prevent it from ever growing again. Which is really exciting as a immunotherapy has really changed the way in melanoma especially retreating. It but then Austin is starting to spread out all these other cancers. And in some cases is really giving amazing response what is that gonna join the game here join the fight community there so it's interesting we had BP music immune therapy in on Obama for actually decades but a lot of Damien therapies didn't work grade had harmful side effects made people really sick. It's only being the first ad was approved in 2011 and I started changing the game. And then newer drugs had just been around for the last couple years and I really just working their way into. Clinical practice and into the treatment as other cancers are. Chris you're going through this and then December something else happens in the hum yet December 8 my wife was diagnosed with a breast cancer and so you've gone through tough times and then wham O you get hit again. Yeah it's. Yeah I was. A big shock I. Again you know a specially in my cancer had no symptoms other than those swamps you know I felt fine. And then you know we worried about me than to come in find out you know sheik. And while net. Is is down melanoma is that when you know it's off season because by laying out the sun too long you know some of protecting your game UV rays Hollis. But in your case it was it was it hereditary it was a it's caused by the skin I had to I'd you know. For media. There's no family history of melanoma on the along in my family has had a. So doctors then headed it which included an eight car finale is a family. If it can move in families and certain types of scanner much are prone to it. We do think that you V exposure and sun has a huge role to play in it just based on things like people using tanning does have a very high rates of it. But sometimes it just comes at absolutely and we never know someone with the same sun exposure might have gotten one and not gotten on on my and so. There's something it just happens to and a line and it can happen to be. Unbelievable that you get hit both times pleasure wiped them. Thumb. She's great. She had her lump removed she went through four weeks of chemo and respond and how are you feel they still active. To a point here I still have trouble finding where my limit is. On Kazaa get tired. They don't have the same. Drive but that's OK you know it it's all good. You know just if I can't get to something that I don't get to do it and that's fun at a better time doctors that a matter. Yes so I'm hoping this pitino continue to improve some of that it's a side effect and the union there he can make people feel that wiped out. And and so that is definitely something you can do. And so. It's not clear if that's still a threat in this fatigue. There's a lot of other potential side effects they can actually attack other pigment cells it attacks them on alma. And that's something meant that as a had agrees plus some of the pigment from the could see. Done that. Luckily a lot of there are a lot of severe side effects that can happen and it where it attacks other normal arrogance. But we're getting better and better at controlling the house and so most people do pretty well and feminine well. Once again go to great new development developed right here at home at pinafore which is unbelievable. Something that would not be available to Chris. You know few years ago right. Even if two years ago and. Chris it's great to see a doctor think ultimately there could be seen yet it. Our best to you and feel like wolf thank you let them make you its success they.