Credit: tvN

Will Hong Hae In (played by Kim Ji Won) get a happy ending in Queen of Tears? The question remains unanswered, but a neurosurgeon has given his opinion.

Neurosurgeon Cho Seong Yoon was invited to YTN’s radio show to discuss the drama’s popularity and Hae In’s character, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The show’s host asked Dr. Cho the burning question on everyone’s mind: “Will Kim Ji Won live or have a sad ending in the drama?” Dr. Cho gave a lighthearted response and admitted that the character’s fate rests with the writer, not a medical professional.

“Actually, I first saw ‘cloud cell tumor’ in the drama,” he said. “When I searched for it, it turned out to be a fictional disease created by the writer.”

This sparked a conversation about how the fictional disease might relate to real-world conditions. The show’s host asked, “A fictional disease… It is described as a malignant brain tumor in the drama. The symptoms are also there. She sometimes loses her memory and has hallucinations. When you look at this, do you think it is similar to any disease in reality?”

Dr. Cho replied, “I paid close attention to what ‘cloud cell tumor’ is in the drama. Judging from the MRI scene, it seems like it’s a malignant brain tumor that spreads like a cloud instead of forming a lump in the brain. It seems to be a very fitting name for the characteristics of a malignant brain tumor that is not clearly formed and spreads like a cloud. I think the writer’s sense of naming it by mixing the word ‘cloud’ is very good.”

He also said, “I think the most likely real-world equivalent of “cloud cell tumor” is glioblastoma, the most common type of malignant brain tumor. Tumors, not just brain tumors, can be classified as either benign or malignant, and those that are malignant are called cancer. Among brain tumors, benign tumors are not cancer, and malignant brain tumors can be called brain cancer. In the case of brain tumors, whether they are benign or malignant is important. But even benign tumors can cause severe neurological impairments or death depending on the location and size of the tumor. So they can be as dangerous as malignant tumors.”

Finally, the host asked about the survival rate for glioblastoma, the real-world counterpart to Hae In’s tumor.

Dr. Cho replied, “The survival rate of brain tumors varies greatly depending on whether they are benign or malignant and where they occur. Unfortunately, glioblastoma is one of the tumors with the lowest survival rate. Because the borders are unclear, it is not easy to operate on, and even if it is operated on, it is not easy to remove all of it. Therefore, radiation therapy and chemotherapy should be followed after surgery, and even after all these treatments are completed, there is a high probability of recurrence and not being cured.”

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He also added about the treatment ‘CAR-T cell therapy’ that Kim Ji Won is receiving in the drama. “I found out that there are experimental attempts to treat glioblastoma with this method, but it is not a common treatment method that is widely applied to patients,” he said.

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