Metastatic melanoma survivor: ‘Coming back to MD Anderson is a great feeling’

In May 2016, Victor Barreiro learned his melanoma, originally treated in his hometown of Mexico City in 2014, had returned and spread throughout his body. There were growths in his lungs, liver, spleen and brain – a total of 15 separate spots where cancer had spread, or metastasized. Today, after metastatic melanoma treatment at MD Anderson, most of those growths are gone. The few that remain are just a fraction of their original sizes and aren’t growing. Choosing MD Anderson for brain tumor surgery and metastatic melanoma treatment When Victor found out his melanoma had spread, his doctors in Mexico offered treatment, but they recommended he go to a cutting-edge research hospital. He first met with a neurosurgeon in Baltimore, who said removing that growth was a relatively straightforward procedure, but treating the disease throughout his body was the real challenge. So Victor decided to start interviewing oncologists. Two days later, Victor met with Hussein Tawbi, M.D., Ph.D., at MD Anderson. “When I met him, everything was so clear to me,” says Victor. “Those moments when you’re diagnosed and you have to decide where to get your treatment are very stressful. Once you find the best place for your treatment, then you rest. It was a relief to find Dr. Tawbi – not only his warmth, his kindness, but also his amazing knowledge and his groundbreaking research.” Since Victor’s brain metastasis presented the most immediate health risk, he underwent a craniotomy to remove the growth just one week after his first appointment at MD Anderson. Performed by Jeffrey Weinberg, M.D., the procedure addressed symptoms like confusion, seizures and trouble...