DURHAM, N.C. — When author and Duke University English professor Reynolds Price heard Sen. Ted Kennedy had a brain tumor, he hoped Kennedy would trust his medical care to Allan Friedman.
Friedman, the neurosurgeon-in-chief at Duke University Hospital, removed Price's 11-inch, malignant spinal tumor in the summer of 1984. Price wrote about the experience in his book, "A Whole New Life."
Friedman, 59, is considered to be among the best tumor and vascular neurosurgeons in the world and has a career-long interest in neuro-oncology, according to Duke's Web site.
Friedman is responsible for over 90 percent of all tumor resections and biopsies conducted at Duke, and has written hundreds of articles on brain tumor and vascular lesion surgery, the Web site said.
"Malignant brain tumors have ruined the lives of many healthy, vibrant members of our society," said Friedman on Duke's Web site. "We are translating research into successful new treatments --the odds are in our favor for major achievement and long-term answers."
Price, who has become friends with Friedman since his surgery over 20 years ago, said he feels better now that Kennedy selected Friedman to remove his brain tumor.
"I'm sitting here with every finger crossed for both of them," Price said Monday morning.
Price said Friedman used a new technology to remove his tumor, which was inside his spine. It took three surgeries, but Friedman removed it all.
One surgery took six to eight hours, Price said, "and I said, 'what were you doing for that long?'"
Price said Friedman responded that he was separating cell A from cell B.
Back then, Friedman was a very young doctor, Price said.
"When he first walked into my room, I thought they sent me Doogie Howser. I couldn't believe it," Price said. "But they told me in advance that he was the most brilliant." "The man kept me alive while I was very, very ill," Price said. "I'm very fond of him."
Friedman is currently participating in collaborative research in the areas of primary malignant brain tumors, epilepsy and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
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