Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Sen. Kennedy Diagnosed With Malignant Brain Tumor
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sen. Kennedy Diagnosed With Malignant Brain Tumor


Sen. Kennedy Diagnosed With Malignant Brain Tumor

May 20, 2008 01:48 PM

By Globe Staff


Senator Edward Kennedy, the long-serving liberal icon from Massachusetts who was hospitalized this weekend after suffering a seizure, has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, his doctors revealed today.


"Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,'' Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the neurology department at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's doctor, said this afternoon in a statement.


The statement said the usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy.


The doctors said decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis.


"He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital. ... Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy," the statement said.


Kennedy's wife and children have been with him each day since he was hospitalized but have made no public statements.


Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year -- and the most common type among adults. It's a startling diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is found.


This is very sad news, said Dr. Joseph Madsen, a Children’s Hospital Boston neurosurgeon.


High-grade glio-malignancies such as Sen. Kennedy has are unfortunately the most common kind of brain tumor in this age group, and they have a poor prognosis for long-term survival.


They can also be very debilitating during treatment, Madsen said, and Kennedy’s tumor is in an area where it may well eventually affect his speech.


Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types -- such as glioblastomas -- to about five years for different types that are slower-growing.


Statement from Dr. Lee Schwamm, Vice Chairman, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Primary Care Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital:


"Over the course of the last several days, we've done a series of tests on Senator Kennedy to determine the cause of his seizure. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital. Some of the tests we had performed were inconclusive, particularly in light of the fact that the Senator had severe narrowing of the left carotid artery and underwent surgery just 6 months ago. However, preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy. Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis. Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy."


Sen. Edward Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant glioma. Here's the National Cancer Institute's explanation of the tumor:


Malignant gliomas are the most common primary brain tumor, accounting for more than half of the more than 18,000 primary malignant brain tumors diagnosed each year in the United States. These tumors are the second-most common cause of cancer death in the 15 to 44 age group.


The outlook for patients with malignant gliomas is poor. Median survival for patients with moderately severe (grade III) malignant gliomas is three to five years. For patients with the most severe, aggressive form of malignant glioma (grade IV glioma or glioblastoma multiforme), median survival is less than a year.


Surgery is recommended for all operable brain tumors and is usually followed by radiation therapy. Several studies have shown that adding chemotherapy to radiation can improve patients' survival. In June 2004, after the completion of the current study, researchers announced that adding the drug temozolomide (Temodar) to radiation therapy increased median survival in patients with glioblastoma multiforme by about two months (see related story). This approach is now considered the standard of care for the initial treatment of these tumors.


Research Details…

1 comment:

Laurie Dobson said...

Senator Edward Kennedy has been reputed to have fallen victim to a brain tumor after suffering a seizure last week. He will find that there is excellent medical support for his condition in the medical field, particularly at Dana Farber, where my husband, Michael Dobson, is receiving ongoing care for his GBM tumor.

However, Senator Kennedy will also find that this field of medicine has unfortunately been recently hit with a scourge: the funding research programs are due to be cut in half this year. How will we cure a disease, which has a ‘blood-brain’ barrier and has no known cure on the horizon?

The answer: a massive cancer research effort, on the scale of the moon mission, to wipe out cancer in ten years. This is the plan I have called for: DOBSON’S CALL FOR WORLDWIDE WAR ON CANCER, on February 17:
http://www.dobsonforsenate.com/Dobson_for_Senate/Blog/Entries/2008/2/17_DOBSON%E2%80%99S_CALL_FOR_WORLDWIDE_WAR_ON_CANCER.html

We can not only wipe out cancer, save untold numbers of lives, but we can jumpstart the world economy with medical research dividends. Just as the moon mission return $34. dollars in new research benefits for every dollar invested under JFK, we can use this tragic situation to call for a new mission: wiping out cancer.

Senator, the best of luck to you. Please use this adversity as sweetly as may be possible, and help America redeem its lost honor by curing cancer.
Laurie Dobson
Maine’s Candidate for US Senate