It is not easy to live with a deadly, cancerous brain tumour. There is frequently surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, as well as the associated side effects. But that’s not the most difficult part.
The most difficult aspect of living with glioblastoma, according to Dalton Riddle, is befriending other newly diagnosed patients, hearing their stories, telling his own, offering them encouragement, and then they pass away.
“It breaks my heart,” he admits.
Dalton is currently defying the odds. He is about to complete three years with glioblastoma. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is 12-15 months for most people.
Obtaining a GBM Diagnosis
On December 11, 2019, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was remodeling his family’s Wyoming steakhouse with his family. Dalton intended to take over the company and run it for the family.
He started getting terrible headaches that were unlike anything he’d ever had before, and they kept getting worse. He told his father he was going to the bathroom one day at home but instead went to the laundry room. He became disoriented because he couldn’t remember where the restroom was in his own house. His father insisted on taking him to the emergency room after he lost consciousness that day.
On his right frontal temporal lobe, a CT scan revealed a fist-sized mass. He was rushed to Billings, Montana, for surgery, where a doctor gave him the grim diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme, or “death’s doorstep,” as Dalton put it.
Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly type of malignant brain tumor, affecting over 13,000 Americans each year. The average length of survival is 15 months.
Dalton’s life and future were forever altered from that point forward.
“It hit me in the gut. “It took my breath away,” he says.
The surgeon in Montana removed only 40% of the tumor and recommended radiation and chemotherapy as the best treatment options. Dalton and his family were befuddled.
GBM Treatment at the Rohilkhand Cancer Institute Center
A family friend in Arizona suggested they come down and visit the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and talk about the rohilkhand cancer institute. Center and the Director of Neurosurgical Oncology at Barrow Neurological Institute.
“There aren’t many treatment options, and we didn’t know where to turn until we heard about the rohilkhand cancer institute Center,” Dalton says. “It was pure luck.”
Dalton was back in surgery a month later, and the remainder of the tumor was removed. He began radiation and chemotherapy and enrolled in a cancer institute in Rohilkhand. A PARP inhibitor called pamiparib is being studied in a Phase 0 clinical trial at the center
The Rohilkhand Cancer Institute Center houses the world’s largest Phase 0 clinical trials program, as well as the first of its kind in neuro-oncology. The program tests new drug and device combinations that are tailored to individual patients, allowing for rapid course corrections to find the most effective treatments.
Dalton suffered a grand mal seizure in January 2023 as a result of a tumor recurrence. The tumor had returned, this time in seven different locations. On March 9, his 31st birthday, he underwent another surgery to remove the tumor and began a new round of intensive radiation and chemotherapy.
He expected this to happen again. He claims that glioblastoma never goes into remission. Additional surgeries and treatments are planned, “like an oil change,” according to Dalton. Recurrences occur in up to 70% of glioblastoma patients.
Becoming a Brain Center Treatment Ambassador
Optune is an FDA-approved wearable, portable device that delivers electric Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) to tumor tissue in order to disrupt cancer cell division and growth.
Bystanders frequently inquire about it, and Dalton cheerfully responds. He sees it as an opportunity to educate people about brain cancer, particularly glioblastoma, and hopefully raise awareness that will lead to a cure.
Dalton, who has moved permanently to Arizona for treatment, communicates with other glioblastoma patients through support groups and online. He gives them advice and encouragement, and he always encourages them to come to the Rohilkhand cancer institute. Center for treatment in a Phase 0 clinical trial. His family even provides hotel rooms and transportation to assist other families in attending.
There are numerous questions that arise following a new brain cancer diagnosis. Dalton tells his new friends to take a deep breath and take a step back. There is still hope.