- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2008

BOSTON (AP) | Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said it was “good to be home” after flying back to Massachusetts on Monday, one week after undergoing aggressive and delicate surgery to treat a cancerous brain tumor.

Mr. Kennedy left the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., on Monday morning and arrived at his family’s compound in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod just before noon.

Mr. Kennedy, his white hair visible under a beige, wide-brimmed hat, told reporters waiting outside his home it was “good to be home, good to be here.”

When asked how he was feeling, he said, “Glad to be home, I’ll tell ya.”

The Massachusetts Democrat was diagnosed last month with a malignant glioma, a lethal type of brain tumor, after having a seizure. A malignant glioma is one of the worst kinds of brain cancer, and malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans very year.

“His doctors are pleased with his progress since surgery a week ago, and he will continue to recuperate at home before starting the next phase of his treatment,” Mr. Kennedy’s office said. “He is thankful for the extraordinary care of the doctors and nurses at Duke, and also for the continued prayers and well wishes from the people of Massachusetts and all over the country.”

Mr. Kennedy, 76, underwent the risky, 3 1/2-hour surgery on June 2 to remove as much of the tumor as possible, a procedure aimed at improving the likelihood of success of chemotherapy and radiation.

His surgeon at Duke, Dr. Allan Friedman, said Monday that Mr. Kennedy “is making an excellent recovery.”

“He will continue his recuperation at home in Massachusetts under the supervision of the very capable doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital,” Dr. Friedman said.

Mr. Kennedy’s son, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island Democrat, said he planned to have dinner with his father Monday night.

“My dad’s doing great,” the younger Mr. Kennedy said Monday after an appearance at Brown University. “He’s benefited enormously from the surgery he received and he’s on his way home, and we’re so fortunate that, you know, he’s going back to the place that he loves. … Always makes him feel great being near the ocean.”

Mr. Kennedy’s family and doctors have released few details about the particular type of tumor, which plays a key role in determining his survival odds.

Some cancer specialists have said Mr. Kennedy appears to have a glioblastoma multiforme - a serious and tough-to-remove type of tumor - because other kinds are more common in younger people.

Doctors familiar with the type of surgery have said it almost never leads to a cure, but radiation or chemotherapy treatments have a better chance of success because there is less tumor to fight.

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