Senator Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor after he suffered seizures. The prognosis is seen as poor. We send our prayers to the Kennedy family.
US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the veteran lawmaker from Massachusetts who is the last surviving brother in the legendary Kennedy family, has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, his doctors said today. Specialists in Boston and around the country said the information released indicated that Kennedy has terminal cancer and might have only a limited time to live. Kennedy's doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, who had been investigating the cause of a seizure that led to Kennedy's hospitalization this weekend, said that preliminary results from a brain biopsy indicated the seizure had been caused by a tumor in the top left portion of his brain. The usual course of treatment for the tumor -- a "malignant glioma" -- includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy, Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the neurology department at the hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary care physician, said in a statement. The doctors said decisions regarding the best course of treatment for the 76-year-old senator would be determined after further testing and analysis. But other specialists said that the diagnostic details released by the hospital indicated that Kennedy has terminal brain cancer and most likely less than three years to live -- perhaps much less. "Unfortunately, it's a really serious tumor," said Dr. Patrick Wen, clinical director for neuro-oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Massachusetts General Hospital described the tumor as a malignant glioma; Wen said that probably means the tumor is at stage 3 or 4 on a four-point scale of severity, with 4 the most serious. "The average survival for a Grade 4 tumor is 14 or 15 months," he said. "For a grade 3 tumor, it's two to three years. Unfortunately, the older you are, the worse it is. The biology of the tumor is worse, it's more aggressive." source