Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ted Kennedy - Brain Tumor


I wrote about Senator Kennedy's seizure yesterday and now the results of a biopsy show he has a malignant brain tumor. Unfortunately he has a glioma in the left upper part of his brain, the parietal lobe. At age 76, Senator Kennedy's prognosis is poor because gliomas, particularly in the parietal lobe are difficult to treat.

The cause of glioma brain cancer is unknown and it is not linked to smoking or alcohol. Most gliomas present with a seizure or headaches. These are fast growing malignancies and they don't spread to other parts of the body.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry mr. kennedy...i hope you will be healed...god has blessed you with a good life and if it's his will he will heal you...

lotto said...
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Jonathan said...

I serendipitously ran across this Phase II trial, which I think just ended, at New York – Presbyterian Hospital (click on the picture of the scorpion) for glioma patients using scorpion venom as a transport agent.

The following excerpt is from a late 2006 NYP Hospital newsletter.

“According to Dr. Rosenfeld, there is typically a range of basic and clinical research being conducted, including late-phase studies of new therapeutic agents sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry and new interventions generated from in-house clinical research. One Phase II trial that will begin shortly at NewYork- Presbyterian/Columbia involves the use of a component of scorpion venom— chlorotoxin—that has shown remarkable specificity for targeting malignant brain tumors. “There have been a number of experimental studies suggesting that scorpion venom targets glioma cells. By attaching a radioactive agent or a toxin to the venom, there appears to be a high rate of tumor cell kill with relatively little damage to healthy tissue,” Dr. Rosenfeld said”.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the scorpion turned out to have life saving properties as an adjunct to its life ending potential.

Toni Brayer MD said...

Thanks, jonathan. That is really amazing and I had not heard of it. I have lost several dear patients and one friend to brain cancer and it is a terrible and mysterious disease without any known cause and no screening or preventive test.

Anonymous said...

We don't know if Ted will receive chlorotoxin but we are following the news with interest. A Phase 3 trial at numerous major hospitals is scheduled to begin soon. The scientist who led the way to the development of this drug with incredible potential is Dr. Harald Sontheimer, director of the UAB Civitan International Research Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Sontheimer's team has been working on this avenue of research for more than 15 years and were the first to synthesize the scorpion venom molecule called chlorotoxin and to recognize the important connections leading to it's use as an anti-cancer drug. It is to-date I believe the most complicated molecule synthesized in the lab. A video detailing his glioma research will be posted soon on the UAB Mrrc news page found at www.mrrc.uab.edu