Break from Keytruda

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September 19, 2017 at 11:03 am  #1292554    


Hi Doc,
My dad had stage1 Adenocarcinoma.My dad’s labectomy was done in Jan 2015.
In Dec 2016 it metastasize to his right hip area. he got radiation. .So far he has received 8 infusions of keytruda after this. His TSH, 3rd generation, mIU/L (TSH, mIU/L) 31.30 mIU/L. Is it a good idea to take a break from Keytruda at this point? he has statred taking medication for his thyroid. please let me know, if we continue with keytruda or take a break?
His recent PETSCAN shows no sign of progression of disease.

September 20, 2017 at 6:52 am  #1293002    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi ashme,

Welcome to GRACE. It’s good to hear that your dad appears to be having a good response to Keytruda, based on the recent PET scan results. With regard to the thyroid issue, Dr. West has said:

“Thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid, is another common side effect, and it may lead to excessively high activity (hyperthyroidism) or low activity (hypothyroidism). Because the thyroid gland regulates metabolism, growth, and temperature control, typical symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, a fast heart rate, irritability, diarrhea, and feeling warm most of the time, while the symptoms of hypothyroidism often include weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, and feeling cold. It is common for hyperthyroidism to later transition to a normal or hypothyroid state. Blood tests can determine the function of the thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is generally treated with “beta blockers,” blood pressure medications that slow the heart rate, combined with symptomatic management of patient’s symptoms. Hypothyroidism is readily treated with thyroid hormone replacement (levothyroxine/Synthroid).”

So as long as the thyroid medication keeps his TSH under control, there may not be a reason to stop Keytruda at this point. I’m sure his doctor will monitor his TSH levels, along with any symptoms he may experience, and make treatment recommendations based on those observations.

I hope his good response to Keytruda lasts a very long time!

Forum moderator

Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
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