Ted Kennedy Diagnosed with Malignant Glioma
On Saturday, Sen. Edward Kennedy was taken to the hospital after suffering a seizure. A biopsy determined that he has a malignant glioma brain tumor in the left parietal lobe.
Kennedy will be undergoing more tests in the next few days to determine the best treatment options for him. There are a few different types of gliomas but under current treatment protocols all of them have a poor prognosis, with only 50% of people being diagnosed living longer than a year after diagnosis.
Traditional treatment usually involves a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, though they are usually just used to prolong the patient's life rather than cure the cancer.
However, one promising area of research into the treatment of gliomas is the use of certain compounds in marijuana. Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Madrid's Complutense University found that cannabinoids induced apoptosis (cell death) in glioma cells and also inhibited the growth of gliomas.
In addition, the cannabinoids did not harm non-cancerous cells in any way, unlike radiation and chemotherapy. (study)
Other clinical studies have also shown cannabinoids to inhibit gliomas as well as other types of cancer.
All of the experts in the media are telling us that Kennedy's prognosis is poor and that his only options are chemo and radiation, when the research clearly shows otherwise. Unfortunately, this treatment is illegal and not approved in the United States or Canada because of the ridiculous stigma associated with marijuana.
With the poor prognosis given to glioma patients who undergo chemo and radiation, isn't it their right to try something that might work better? Isn't it our right as human beings to have access to a natural plant that could save our lives?
Ted Kennedy has been a champion of research into medical marijuana. Now he has the chance to bring this issue to the public eye in a very personal way. I hope for his sake and the sake of all people who are told they have "incurable" cancer that he does.