REPORTS: Ex-Beatle George Harrison treated for cancer on Staten Island

Friday, November 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Ex-Beatle George Harrison reportedly has received experimental cancer treatment at Staten Island University Hospital.

The 58-year-old Harrison was treated by Dr. Gil Lederman, the hospital's director of radiation oncology, according to published reports.

Calls to Harrison's manager, Jeff Kramer, were not immediately returned. The hospital, citing patient confidentiality policies, would not say whether Harrison was a patient.

But the Daily News on Friday, citing unidentified sources, reported that Harrison was in a private suite. The New York Post said he checked out on Sunday in the company of his wife and three bodyguards. The Post, citing an unidentified source, said Ringo Starr had been seen visiting Harrison.

Harrison checked in under the name George Arrias, The Staten Island Advance reported. Arrias is the maiden name of Harrison's wife, Olivia.

Lederman offers a technique known as fractionated sterotactic radiosurgery, which attacks tumors with high doses of radiation while leaving surrounding healthy tissues intact. It is for patients with large and advanced tumors.

Harrison, the youngest of the four Beatles, was diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor earlier this year.

Lederman, in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, declined to say if he was treating Harrison. But he said the treatment's success rate is 90 percent, and that it is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.

``People get up and go back to work,'' he said.

Stories of Harrison's failing health have circulated for months. Some news outlets reported in July that he was close to death. Harrison called the reports ``unsubstantiated, untrue, insensitive and uncalled for,'' according to the London Free Press.

Once a heavy smoker, Harrison overcame throat cancer in 1997. He developed lung cancer earlier this year and had a cancerous growth removed from his lung in March, according to published reports. Harrison first sought treatment in Switzerland but moved to University Hospital about two weeks ago.