Alabama: AD Bill Battle to undergo cancer treatments

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama athletic director Bill Battle is set to undergo a series of treatments for cancer, which he has been battling for more than two years.

The university announced in a statement Tuesday that Battle will undergo a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma at Emory University's The Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center at the Winship Cancer Institute. The statement said the condition is not considered life threatening and that Battle was diagnosed during a regularly scheduled executive physical in the spring of 2014.

The 74-year-old Battle is expected to communicate daily with senior officials on his staff.

''I am very comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plan,'' Battle said. ''I am looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing my active lifestyle, as well as continuing to lead our athletics department. My experience has made it clear to me that cancer can be a treatable disease that can be dealt with while maintaining a high quality of life.''

Dr. Sagar Lonial, who will supervise the treatment, said the disease is in ''a good partial remission'' and that the procedure is a standard step in the treatment.

''Mr. Battle has been receiving treatment for multiple myeloma and has done very well,'' said Lonial, who serves as the Winship Cancer Institute's chief medical officer. ''He will be undergoing stem cell transplantation, which is a routine part of treatment for myeloma.

''We anticipate his response and outcome will be outstanding and I fully expect to see him back on the sidelines in the fall, cheering Alabama on.''

Battle has undergone radiation therapy and three courses of chemotherapy.

Multiple myeloma, also known as bone marrow cancer, begins in the blood's plasma cells.

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