MEDIA CONTACTS:

Kristin Samuelson at Kristin.samuelson@northwestern.edu or 847-769-6596

Linnea Mason at linnea.mason@nm.org or 847-951-7475

MEDIA ADVISORY: Aug. 24, 2018 

Glioblastoma expert available to speak about Sen. John McCain’s brain cancer
Neuro-oncologist can talk about treatment regarding treatment, physical symptoms and end-of-life care

CHICAGO --- Senator John McCain’s family announced this morning he will no longer be receiving treatment for his brain cancer, glioblastoma, after a year of battling the disease. Dr. Priya Kumthekar, theleader of Northwestern Medicine’s disease team for neuro-oncology who is involved in multiple clinical trials focusing on glioblastoma, is available to discuss what this means for Sen. McCain’s prognosis, how long he may have to live and how his care team and family can support him in the upcoming weeks.  

Dr. Kumthekar also is an assistant professor of neuro-oncology, hematology and oncology in Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. She can be reached via e-mail at priya.kumthekar@nm.org or by calling Kristin Samuelson at 847-769-6596 or Linnea Mason at 847-951-7475.

Quotes from Dr. Kumthekar

“For every single glioblastoma patient, it comes to that point when we say, ‘We can do a treatment, but at what point and with what risk?’ Once we start to see the side effects of the treatment outweigh the potential benefit, that’s when we decide if it’s really worth it to try something or solely focus on their quality of life and time with family.”

What glioblastoma patients experience near the end of life varies, Dr. Kumthekar said, but generally speaking, they tend to sleep a lot of the day and are less interactive than their usual selves.

“As the tumor starts to take up more and more of the brain, we start to see more of our facilities lose their ability, such as speaking, movement, walking.  We often don’t talk about brain cancer but we now have seen it has taken some really prominent folks. For whatever time he has left, the best thing for him is to have the most supportive care as possible.”

Northwestern’s Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University this month received a five-year, $11.5 million grant from the National Cancer Instituteto research glioblastoma. 

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