Darren has been diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (“GBM”), a form of brain cancer. He has returned to his Clearwater area home to continue recuperating amongst his immediate family and friends. He will eventually begin treatments in Florida. Darren and his family wish to thank everyone for their loving support throughout this difficult time. He is deeply touched. In typical fashion, he again said, “Right on; Fight on.” Darren and his family request that everyone respect his privacy and that of his family during this period of time. At his urging, I can report that the September 9, 2013 golf tournament that benefits the Foundation will continue as planned.
More details are forthcoming as Darren has requested that we keep his friends and fans periodically updated.
The American Brain Tumor Association’s website describes GBM thusly:
Glioblastomas are tumors that arise from astrocytes—the star-shaped cells that make up the “glue-like,” or supportive tissue of the brain. These tumors are usually highly malignant (cancerous) because the cells reproduce quickly and they are supported by a large network of blood vessels.
Glioblastoma can be difficult to treat because the tumors contain so many different types of cells. Some cells may respond well to certain therapies, while others may not be affected at all. This is why the treatment plan for glioblastoma may combine several approaches.
The first step in treating glioblastoma is a procedure to make a diagnosis, relieve pressure on the brain, and safely remove as much tumor as possible through surgery. Because gliblastomas have finger-like tentacles, they are very difficult to completely remove. This is particularly true when they are growing near the parts of the brain that control important functions such as language and coordination.
Prognosis is usually reported in years of “median survival.” Median survival is the time at which an equal number of patients do better and an equal number of patients do worse. With standard treatment, median survival for adults with an anaplastic astrocytoma is about two to three years. For adults with more aggressive glioblastoma, treated with concurrent temozolamide and radiation therapy, median survival is about 14.6 months and two-year survival is 30%. However, a 2009 study reported that almost 10% of patients with glioblastoma may live five years or longer.
Not good news.