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Health

Mayor's condition deteriorating

Luis Fábregas
| Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006

Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor's condition worsened today, prompting doctors to begin radiation therapy and cancel a planned surgery to internalize a catheter draining fluid from his brain.

O'Connor's doctors at UPMC Shadyside said O'Connor will receive whole brain radiation today and tomorrow, followed by higher doses of targeted radiation to his four tumors on Monday.

At a press briefing yesterday, doctors had said O'Connor would begin radiation therapy on Monday because his tumors have not responded to high doses of the chemotherapy agent methotrexate.

O'Connor, 61, has been hospitalized since July 10, following his diagnosis with a rare brain cancer called primary central nervous system lymphoma.

The illness, along with high doses of medication, have left him lethargic and weak.

Doctors on Aug. 6 performed emergency surgery on O'Connor to drain excess spinal fluid accumulating in his brain.

He had received an external catheter, or shunt, that was draining the fluid into a bag.

Doctors had hoped to redirect the shunt in a surgery this morning so that it would drain into O'Connor's abdomen.

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