Hearing from a Melanoma Survivor – 2017 NYC Patient Summit

At our Immunotherapy Patient Summit event in New York City, Janie Ferling proudly shared her immunotherapy journey that has allowed her to continue living her life.

In 2013, Janie learned that a lump in her neck was malignant melanoma that required immediate surgery. As mother to a teenager, she was determined to do whatever it took to be around as long as possible for her son. She searched for a clinical trial that would best treat her diagnosis and after looking for several months, enrolled in a trial at UCLA School of Medicine with Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D., a CRI-funded investigator specializing in immunotherapy for melanoma.

Dr. Ribas was the principal investigator on the study testing a new treatment that combines two immunotherapies—infusions of the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab and a deactivated herpes virus-based treatment called T-Vec.

Today, Janie’s tumor is gone. But she isn’t out of the woods yet—there is another, smaller tumor in her neck, but it appears to be stable. As she will frankly admit, Janie may never be fully cancer free, and she’s OK with that if it means she can continue to live her life and spend time traveling the world and making more memories with her son.