ZaggMate“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs said he is taking another medical leave, marking the latest health struggle for the head of the world’s most valuable technology company and raising uncertainty over Apple’s future direction,” Yukari Iwatani Kane and Joann S. Lublin report for The Wall Street Journal.

“In a Monday morning email to Apple employees, which the Cupertino, Calif., company released publicly, Mr. Jobs wrote the board of directors ‘has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health,'” Kane and Lublin report. “The 55-year-old pancreatic cancer survivor, who received a liver transplant in 2009, didn’t specify what health issue was causing him to take the leave.

“William Chapman, transplantation chief at Washington University in St. Louis, hasn’t examined Mr. Jobs personally, but said there are two likely scenarios in the CEO’s case,” Kane and Lublin report. “The first is that there was a transplant-related problem, though Mr. Chapman said it would be unusual for that to happen a year and a half after the transplant.”

Mr. Chapman said a more likely possibility would be that the neuroendocrine tumor metastasized again. “It’s really difficult to cure the disease with a liver transplant,” said Mr. Chapman, adding that it’s common to have some degree of recurrence. “Most people hope they reset the clock, gained some time and gained a quality of life even if you don’t cure the disease.”

Kane and Lublin report, “In a sign of the uncertainty, Apple’s share price fell on overseas markets Monday. “Jobs is Apple,” one trader said, adding that the CEO has taken the visionary decisions to bring the company where it is today. As U.S. markets remain closed for Martin Luther King Day, Apple shares fell 6.2% to €244.05 ($326.41) in Frankfurt trading. Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Co., said he expects Apple shares to fall when trading resumes Tuesday in the U.S. ‘A lot of people will hit the ejection handle and the stock will come under a lot of pressure.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Matthew Campbell reports for Bloomberg, “Jobs’s 2009 liver transplant took place at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The surgeon who performed the procedure, James Eason, is an expert in treating recurrences of a rare cancer Jobs said he had in 2004.”

“The cancer, called neuroendocrine tumor, was discovered in Jobs’s pancreas. While the tumor is often slow-growing, it can spread to the liver where it can become life-threatening,” Campbell reports. “Eason said at the time that he had replaced the livers of about 10 people with the rare cancer. Jobs hasn’t said whether his transplant was done to treat a recurrence of the tumor. Eason didn’t immediately return a call placed to his office today.”

Full article here.

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