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."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Picture drilling into his head. Drill,Drill, Drill. Whoa! the bit broke off inside!.

jd said...

He'll be lucky if he's alive this Christmas.

Anonymous said...

To "anonymous": - Are your comments meant to be sarcastic?!?! My brother was just diagnosed with a malignant glioma, he just underwent 6 hours of brain surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Soon to begin radiation and chemo. We are devastated. He is only 65 years old, been married for 40 years, has 5 grandchildren and has accomplished many great things. I wonder how you would feel if such a tragedy happened to someone you love. I'd think twice about making comments like that.

Brian E. Moore, MD said...

I agree with the latest anonymous comment that the first anonymous comment was ridiculous. How can people be so uncaring?