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Local clinic uses a new cancer treatment method

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A Greenville clinic is the first in the country to participate in a trial that uses new methods to treat head and neck cancer.

21st Century Oncology will be using a drug called multikine. It will be administered like a shot into the tumor 15 times over a 3 week period.

During the trial period, the drug will only be used with specific types of patients.

"This patient has to have a head and neck cancer, which is a tumor between their clavicle and below their brain. That's a squamous type of cancer, and the criteria is also that it is visible," said Dr. Ron Allison, the doctor using the new drug.

Dr. Allison says that between 300 and 400 people in Eastern Carolina are diagnosed with head and neck cancer each year. He says a big contributor is the high tobacco use.

If the trial goes well, Dr. Allison says the FDA will be asked to approve it in the next few years. He says the drug could be used to treat other cancers as well.

"If you have a treatment of some sort that can improve or strengthen your immune system, the endless number of cancer patients and types of cancers that this could benefit would be amazing," he said. 
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