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Surgeon Battling Own Cancer Developed New Treatment
Date:9/20/2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The bump on his left ear looked innocent enough. At 33 and just two years out of surgical specialty training, craniofacial and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Stephen Cantrell was consumed with teaching and practicing in a busy university hospital. Then came the biopsy results: the little nuisance was in fact malignant melanoma. Life changed overnight.

After the first round of surgical procedures, Cantrell enrolled in a clinical trial testing a cancer vaccine. The melanoma recurred anyway, and more surgery followed. Interferon was next but to no avail.

A year later the cancer changed into a much more aggressive form and began shooting new tumors around his neck and chest with alarming speed. Doctors then advised that his condition would deteriorate rapidly and he probably had about six weeks left to live. "They told me to find a nice beach somewhere and enjoy a few sunsets," Cantrell remembered. "I said no. I worked with some great surgeons, and they were willing to get me on the table the next day whenever a new metastasis popped up."

The surgeries to fight the new metastases were frequent. "Those were dark days," he continued. "I was getting my neck or chest sliced open sometimes every two or three weeks. At one point I had to stick a large needle in my own neck twice a day to drain the fluid buildup." It still wasn't enough.

In July 2000 he underwent yet another selective neck dissection, but two weeks later there were new tumors deeper in the neck. "I had access to some of the most prominent doctors in the field," Cantrell explained, "but there really wasn't anything else they could offer. At that point, nothing works." Realizing he was out of treatment options, he knew he would have to step into the unknown to fight any further.

He went back to the medical literature, searching for any reasonable t
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SOURCE NeoPlas Innovation
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