Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Kennedy is diagnosed with malignant glioma
Medical student Sameer Vohra informed me that he came to this blog looking for more information on Sen. Ted Kennedy's brain tumor. Also in my email inbox this morning was a link from Dr. Doug Shevlin to an article in the Chicago Tribune about Kennedy's disease. The press is reporting that Kennedy has a "malignant glioma", which of course is an umbrella term that includes diffuse astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, oligoastrocytoma, and anaplastic ependymoma. The most likely diagnosis in someone in Kennedy's age group is glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Unfortunately, the mean survival in patients with GBM is eleven months. Despite treatment, the prognosis for patients wth GBM is dismal. The May 20 Chicago Tribune article forwarded to me by Shevlin notes that Kennedy suffers from chronic pain secondary to a plane crash in 1964 that "broke his back". Our own Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said: "Everyone I know just marvels at his strength. Any other person just would have been classified as a disabled person and unable to work after the injuries he sustained. He's never complained, but I've seen the pain on his face. He soldiers on without a word of complaint."