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Drummer Eddie Cleland Resumes Life After Brain Surgery and Tells About it at Conference
Date:6/1/2009

to Cedars-Sinai, which he called on the morning of Dec. 3, 2007. He was able to get an appointment with Black early that afternoon, and after reviewing the images of the tumor together, the two began to set a date for surgery.

"He said, 'How about the 13th?' I said I had a gig booked on the 15th with a lot of people coming out - even my mom was flying out from northern Nevada. I said I really didn't want to cancel the gig, thinking this could be my last gig. Who knows?" Cleland recalled. They settled on Dec. 20.

Cleland's tumor was a diffuse astrocytoma, also called a Grade II glioma. Gliomas arise from glial cells, which provide support for nerve cells in the brain. Low-grade gliomas (Grade I and II) are considered pre-malignant. Although not yet cancers, 70 percent to 80 percent will increase in grade to become cancers over time. Grade IV gliomas, also know as glioblastoma multiforme, are the most aggressive type of brain cancer.

"The treatment of choice is to try to get all of it out if we can," Black said. "Complete resection is not curative because there can still be some areas where microscopic cells that we cannot see may be hiding, and they can re-grow. But we've gotten 99.99 percent of the tumor cells out, which means there are fewer cells that can convert and become cancerous."

The surgical team used sophisticated imaging and electrical stimulation techniques to map out Cleland's tumor and protect eloquent areas of his brain.

"His tumor was actually quite deep and we had to find a safe corridor to approach it. We were able to go between the two halves of the brain, sneak underneath the normal brain and shell the tumor out," Black said.

The operation was made more challenging by the fact that the tumor extended into the premotor area of Cleland's brain. While the motor area is responsible for sending nerve impulses to the muscles to make them move, the pr
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SOURCE Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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