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kennedy @ Duke

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by ESU_MD, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. ESU_MD

    ESU_MD Old School 10+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    Big Leagues
    I guess MGH isn't good enough to perform brain surgery on the grandaddy of liberalism.

    But they are good enough to give chemo/rads postop .

    The diehard MGH crew must feel like they have been slapped in the face- to have to send out a patient to Duke. I thought MGH was "man's greatest hospital"

    Or maybe he doesnt have a resectable tumor and they refused to operate on him and he is doctor shopping to find someone who will offer surgery.
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  3. BlondeDocteur

    BlondeDocteur 10+ Year Member

    I was on neurosurgery last week and all the nsx ppl were whispering about it. They're convinced it's a GBM, unresectable.
  4. dienekes88

    dienekes88 10+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2008

    Doctor calls Kennedy's brain surgery successful

    Maybe ESU's analysis hits it right on the nose: "he doesnt have a resectable tumor and they refused to operate on him and he is doctor shopping to find someone who will offer surgery."

    I assume that Dr. Friedman would know this, though... so I wonder why he would agree to perform the surgery.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  5. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2003
    The media is abuzz with stories of how Kennedy bravely doctor shops for his kids' care, his friends, etc.

    Does anyone know if debulking a GBM is accepted standard of care?
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Duke's Tisch Brain Tumor Center is pretty well regarded, much more so than MGH for treatment of primary brain tumors.

    A close friend of mine was treated there last year for a GBM and then returned home to UCSF in California for the post-op chemo/RT. This is pretty standard practice - to go to Duke for your surgery and/or consultation but return home for adjuvant care, returning to Duke for intermittent consultations/evaluations.

    Most GMBs are not totally resectable and if and when they are, can leave gross deficits post-operatively. Friedman is pretty aggressive and talented, so perhaps feels he can offer surgery which would increase possibility of cure or increased length of survival whereas others wouldn't.

    Even with resection, the OS is not good. My friend Kevin lived just over 14 months from diagnosis.
  7. It's possibly unresectable (like many GBMs).

    For these situations, NSGY here loves to say:

    "We can't help him...but we can definitely change him!"
  8. Pir8DeacDoc

    Pir8DeacDoc Cerumen Extractor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2004
    Dr. Friendman is very aggressive and is THE man who you would want doing this type of surgery. The ultimate outcome will most likely be the same but it's possible his symptom free period will be longer.
  9. BlondeDocteur

    BlondeDocteur 10+ Year Member

    I dunno... I spent last week with Mike Sisti, our top 'exotic brain tumor' specialist. (He was an hour late to the OR this morning because he was on the Today Show talking about the Kennedy case). He was convinced it was an unresectable GBM (which most are, right? From what I gather there is the rare palliative procedure but other than that, curtains. It's a diffusely infiltrating tumor) and that there were a few unscrupulous people who wanted the publicity, nothing more.

    I mean, if Kennedy dies in say, 6 months, and it was a GBM, they can release a press statement saying that's all in line with the prognosis of the disease. "We achieved our objectives," in this case, might well refer to grabbing the spotlight away from Harvard.
  10. Pir8DeacDoc

    Pir8DeacDoc Cerumen Extractor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2004

    Pretty ballsy of you to question the motives of one of the best neurosurgeons in the country. However, I think you're exactly right. Clearly Ted Kennedy and Duke are trying to grab the spotlight from Harvard. We'll just have to see how it works out.
  11. TommyGunn04

    TommyGunn04 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2002
    Durham, NC
    Dr. Friedman is one of the most humble, unassuming, nicest guys you could ever meet. He's just not the kind of person to care about "the spotlight." I've seen him drive out of the parking garage in his tiny, probably 10-year old Mazda Miata...certainly not a glitz and glam type of guy. He's most interested in doing what he thinks is right for the patient. I hope this helps dispel any suspicions about any other motives. As others have said here and elsewhere, he's quite simply THE guy you want to be doing this type of surgery, and several well-known docs around the country have echoed this sentiment in the media.

    Plus, Duke's brain tumor center is arguably the best in the country. That's where I'd be if I had a GBM, which I'm assuming this is. Kennedy and his family have done their homework.
  12. Pir8DeacDoc

    Pir8DeacDoc Cerumen Extractor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2004

    Thanks for adding this. What I hear and know peripherally of Dr. Friedman is he's a typical nerdy surgeon who really cares about his patients. You might not want to go for a beer with him but you'd want him in your head operating. To question his motives reeks of jealousy.
  13. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    I agree with the above. My cousin, an invasive cardiologist was treated at this center and likely ended up with 8 extra months because of Dr. Friedman's aggressive approach to these tumors. He too, returned to his home base for follow-up chemo/RT. My cousin who had two sons under age 5 at the time of his diagnosis wanted every extra minute that he could spend on this earth with them. I firmly believe that he got some of the best care in the world. It's just a very grim diagnosis.

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