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Case part of cancer study; missed one day of session

Apr 12, 2016 By Christina George, Staff Writer

State Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, said he remains positive about the treatment he's undergoing for cancer.

Case is dealing with a reoccurrence of melanoma that caused him to miss one day of the 20-day legislative session held Feb. 8 through March 4 in Cheyenne.

He's being treated at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.

Case said he was able to listen to live streaming of the legislative session during his one-day absence.

"I think it went pretty well," Case said. "I only had one treatment during session, so I missed one day, but I made it back for the next day. I thought I worked pretty hard, and I don't think it impacted my performance at all."

Case said he is one of 64 people in a study involving a trial drug called Ipilmumab.

"People seem to be having good results, including myself," he said.

As part of his treatment, doctors inject a virus into the tumor in his throat. The injection is combined with therapy that boosts his immune system.

"It has definitely shrunk, but the plan is to keep injecting it with the virus every three weeks until they can't find it anymore," Case said of his tumor. "It's getting pretty small."

The longtime Lander lawmaker began treatment in January after his dentist discovered a tumor on his neck during a routine appointment the previous month. A local surgeon biopsied the mass and determined it to be melanoma.

Case's first bout of cancer came a day after winning the 2014 primary election. He had two lymph nodes in his neck removed following the earlier removal of a spot on his scalp.

The lymph nodes tested positive for melanoma, and a surgeon removed 46 lymph nodes from his neck.

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