Darren Daulton diagnosed with brain cancer

Darren Daulton diagnosed with brain cancer

July 10, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Former Phillie Darren Daulton has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

The news comes just over a week after Daulton had surgery to remove two tumors in his brain.

"It saddens me, but I'll remain optimistic," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said prior to Wednesday's game against the Nationals. "I guess he's in Florida now, hoping and praying that things go well for him. I know he's probably got a tough road ahead of him, but I hope it goes well."

Daulton, who had been hosting a radio show on 97.5 FM The Fanatic, has returned to Clearwater, Fla., to recuperate and will eventually begin treatments in Florida.

"Darren and his family wish to thank everyone for their loving support throughout this difficult time," read a statement from the Darren Daulton Foundation. "He is deeply touched. In typical fashion, he again said, 'Right on; Fight on.' Darren and his family request that everyone respect his privacy and that of his family during this period of time. At his urging, I can report that the September 9, 2013, golf tournament that benefits the Foundation will continue as planned."

The catcher, who spent 14 seasons with the Phillies, underwent surgery on July 2 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Though doctors said the surgery "went well," they did not specify whether all the malignant cells in Daulton's brain had been removed.

Dr. Donald O’Rourke, a neurosurgeon in the University of Pennsylvania Health System, said (video above) that part of the tumor's severity is its origin in the brain.

"Glioblastoma is a very difficult, challenging tumor that starts in the brain. So it's not a tumor that started elsewhere in the body and traveled to the brain. It's something that actually started in the brain," O'Rourke said. "So if you can imagine a tumor growing within the brain, it's going to be integrated with normal tissue. So one of the challenges as a surgeon is to be able to remove the tumor while respecting the normal tissue."

O'Rourke also said Daulton's doctors should treat the tumor "aggressively" based on Daulton's current health along with the strong possibility of experimental courses of action.

"In a healthy person like [Daulton] who's in the prime of their lives, the only way to treat this tumor is to be aggressive. That's aggressive surgically and and it's aggressive with every other aspect of care," O'Rourke said. "The care will be a standard radiation regimen, which will be daily for five to six weeks. There will be an oral chemotherapy pill associated with that.

"And then we would recommend, and I assume his caretakers will also recommend, is potentially doing something experimental in addition to that. That's sort of where the hope and the promise of the future holds, with some of the experimental treatments."