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Kennedy has malignant brain tumor

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May 20, 2008

Senator Edward Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor, according to a statement from his doctor.

"Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,'' said Dr. Lee Schwamm, Vice Chairman, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Primary Care Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital in a statement.

The statement said the usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy.

The doctors said decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis.

Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy."

The usual course of treatment includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy, but Kennedy's treatment will be decided after more tests.

"He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital," said a joint statement issued by Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary care physician.

Kennedy's wife and children have been with him each day since he was hospitalized but have made no public statements.

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year -- and the most common type among adults. It's a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types -- such as glioblastomas -- or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

(Additional reporting from the Associated Press)

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