Ted Kennedy brain tumour surgery 'a success'
UPDATE: 1745 EST: Ted Kennedy's brain tumour surgery was successful, according to his doctor. The US senator was awake during the operation.
Dr Allan Friedman said a three-hour procedure had been carried out at
Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina that "accomplished our
UPDATE: 1405 EST: CNN is reporting that Ted Kennedy is out of cancer surgery, according to a family spokesperson.
EARLIER: Democratic Party stalwart Ted Kennedy is undergoing surgery for his brain tumour - just weeks after his diagnosis with a lethal form of cancer.
Senator Edward Kennedy was at Duke University Medical Center on Monday for a risky six-hour surgery for his cancerous brain tumour, and faces chemotherapy and radiation treatment following the procedure.
The 76-year-old senator was diagnosed last month with a malignant glioma, a lethal type of brain tumour. A statement from the Massachusetts Democrat's office said the surgery would be performed by one of the nation's top neurosurgeons, Dr. Allan Friedman.
Experts said surgeons will likely try to remove as much of the tumour as possible while balancing the risk of harming healthy brain tissue that affects movement and speech.
"Almost no malignant gliomas are cured by surgery, but many of us believe that the more you get out, the next treatments, whether they be radiation or chemotherapy, have a better chance of working because there's less tumour there to fight," said Dr. Matthew Ewend, neurosurgery chief at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The surgery was scheduled to begin around 9 a.m., said Anthony Coley, a Kennedy spokesman. The hospital had given no updates by late morning. The senator was expected to remain at the North Carolina facility for one week to recuperate and then will begin further treatments at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital and start chemotherapy.
Kennedy said in a statement that over the past few days he and his wife, Vicki, "along with my outstanding team of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, have consulted with experts from around the country and have decided that the best course of action for my brain tumour is targeted surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation." He said a selected team of neuro-oncologists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Duke University Medical Center was to perform the surgery.
Media report that his surgeon is considered to be among the best in his field.
When author and Duke University English professor Reynolds Price heard Sen. Ted Kennedy had a brain tumor, he hoped Kennedy would trust his medical care to Allan Friedman.
Friedman, the neurosurgeon-in-chief at Duke University Hospital, removed Price's 11-inch, malignant spinal tumor in the summer of 1984. Price wrote about the experience in his book, "A Whole New Life."
Friedman, 59, is considered to be among the best tumor and vascular neurosurgeons in the world and has a career-long interest in neuro-oncology, according to Duke's Web site.
Friedman, is responsible for over 90 percent of all tumor resections and biopsies conducted at Duke, and has written hundreds of articles on brain tumor and vascular lesion surgery, the Web site said.
"Malignant brain tumors have ruined the lives of many healthy, vibrant members of our society," said Friedman on Duke's Web site. "We are translating research into successful new treatments --the odds are in our favor for major achievement and long-term answers."