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Cutting edge local cancer treatment

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Amarillo's reputation for offering cutting edge cancer treatment continues to grow.

Hereford resident, Julie Butler is now a cancer survivor thanks to a procedure that was first done in Amarillo. She received a cord blood stem cell transplant. Although she wasn't the first patient to undergo this stem cell transplant, wouldn't be here today without it.

"It was a fantastic experience. I know that's hard to say with a cancer experience. But, the team here was phenomenal," Butler says.

Julie Butler was 20 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with an early form of leukemia.

She found herself with Dr. Vance Esler at the Texas Oncology Center.

Butler says many people told her she wouldn't be able to get the treatment she needed here in Amarillo.

"The medical technology that's available and available in our own backyard. A lot of people think that things like stem cell transplants you'd have to fly to Houston, Austin, or Dallas to have something like that performed," Butler says.

But, many innovative treatments and clinical trials are being done here.

"If you're trying to treat cancer, you know, everyone is going to want to take something that is actually going to get rid of the cancer. Well, how do we know what's actually going to work. The way we do that is by putting patients on trials, and testing one thing against another and seeing what works better," Esler says.

New treatments have come from trials conducted at Texas Oncology.

"We've actually participated in clinical trials that have brought 43 of the last developed cancer drugs to the market," Esler says.

Esler says it isn't just Texans coming here to Amarillo.

"Because we have the treatment they think they want."

Dr. Esler told me he received a call this morning from someone in California interested in their treatment.

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