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Ted Kennedy Released From Hospital
Date:5/21/2008

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But the outlook isn't always that grim. Subramaniam said she has examples of patients who have lived for two years, "so it's not clear why some patients live so long while others die within a year."

Dr. Jonathan Friedman, director of the Texas Brain and Spine Institute in College Station, said that, given a "diagnosis of malignant glioma, surgery is generally not curative. The primary role of surgery is to biopsy and ascertain the diagnosis and, in some circumstances, there's a role for debulking or removal of a significant volume of tumor. But in some circumstances that's not possible or not desirable.

"But malignant glioma are infiltrative tumors," added Friedman, who's also an assistant professor of surgery and neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. "They don't have good margins. They grow into the brain, which makes sense because they are made out of brain cells. Because of that, they generally cannot be removed in their entirety."

Added Dr. Keith L. Black, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, "Age will be a very strong predictor of how well the senator does, it's probably a stronger predictor than the grade of the tumor. And the fact that the senator is 76 will be a challenge to overcome in his overall prognosis. We also know that surgery is beneficial if it can be safely done and the fact that in the news release doctors at Mass General are not talking about doing surgery early on may mean that he's not a candidate for surgery and that may be because the tumor is too close to language areas or motor areas. And if one is not able to remove all of the tumor that one can see on the MRI scan that is not a positive for overall prognosis."

Kennedy, the second-longest serving Democratic senator currently in Congress, suffered a seizure while at his family's Hyannisport compound and was taken by he
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