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A high-magnification image from a 2012 glioblastoma case is seen as an example in this College of American Pathologists image released from Northfield. VOA

U.S. Senator John McCain’s death from glioblastoma on Saturday brought new attention to the most deadly type of brain cancer.

The National Brain Tumor Society says 80 percent of brain tumors are benign, but a glioblastoma tumor grows rapidly, and it returns after treatment. It usually affects adults, especially men over age 50, but women and even children can develop this type of cancer.


Glioblastoma begins in glial cells that surround and support nerve cells. Because glioblastoma spreads so quickly, the sooner the cancer is diagnosed, the more treatment options a patient has.

Symptoms can include headaches, seizures, memory loss, changes in personality, changes in vision, and difficulty speaking or understanding conversations. The tumor can also affect coordination.

Glioblastoma is generally considered incurable because it is difficult to remove all of cancer during surgery, which is why it can grow back. Surgery is usually the first treatment, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. McCain’s treatment included these three options.


Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Drugs used to treat patients with this type of cancer have lengthened patients’ lives over the past two decades. The National Cancer Institute reports that in the mid-1990s, the average survival rate was eight to 10 months. With new drugs patients now live between 15 and 18 months on average. McCain’s tumour was diagnosed in July 2017. He died little more than a year later.

The National Cancer Institute says survival has also improved slightly. In the mid-1990s, essentially no one with glioblastoma survived five years after diagnosis, now 15 per cent of patients do, a very small proportion compared with survival rates for most other types of cancer.

Researchers are looking for new ways to treat glioblastoma. Those at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, are using a modified polio vaccine with promising results. In the first part of a clinical trial, 21 percent of the patients survived for three years after being treated.

At Texas A&M University in College Station, researchers are looking to see whether they can disrupt the body’s production of a protein associated with tumor growth.

Also Read: USA Sees a Significant Rise in STD Cases

Other research involves seeing whether the body’s own immune system could fight off the cancer cells.

The National Brain Tumor Society issued a statement on McCain’s death. It said the society was “profoundly saddened” and called for a national effort to combat the disease. (VOA)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

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