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San Antonio Physician Specializes In John McCain's Cancer

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UT Health San Antonio
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Andrew Brenner, MD, is a brain cancer specialist at UT Health San Antonio.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor called glioblastoma. A renowned expert in this type of cancer treats patients and researches new therapies at UT Health San Antonio.

McCain, 80, has been a prominent figure in Washington for years, waging political battles. His latest fight is against a deadly form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

Andrew Brenner, MD, a brain cancer specialist at UT Health San Antonio, said overall, the prognosis for patients like McCain is usually grim.

"Unfortunately right now there is no cure for glioblastoma," he explained. "The majority of patients do not live more than 18 months and certainly not beyond two years."

About 13,000 Americans are diagnosed with glioblastoma every year. At his clinic in San Antonio, Brenner sees close to a hundred patients a year. Most enroll in clinical trials of new treatments, like a gene therapy that’s shown promise in extending life.

"Almost all patients with glioblastoma at some point go on to clinical trials because inevitably the tumors recur," Brenner explained. "And once they recur after conventional therapy, the treatment options we have are not very good."

Thanks to some major grants, Brenner is using new injected therapies and sophisticated imaging to explore new ways to give patients whose brain tumors recur after chemotherapy some hope.

"I think that we’re making some progress," he added.

​Anyone interested in the clinical trials at UT Health San Antonio can call (210) 450-5798 for more information.