November 09, 2001 12:15 PM

Former George Harrison, 58, reportedly has received experimental cancer treatment at Staten Island University Hospital in New York, say reports, which also go on to say that he was released from the facility by the end of last week. Harrison, a longtime smoker, was treated by Dr. Gil Lederman, the hospital’s director of radiation oncology, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph and New York’s Daily News. The hospital, citing patient confidentiality policies, would neither confirm nor deny if Harrison was a patient. Elizabeth Freund, a spokesman for Harrison and fellow Beatle Ringo Starr, told the Daily News on Thursday night, “I’m glad to say he is alive.” Lederman’s technique, known as fractionated sterotactic radiosurgery, attacks tumors with high doses of radiation while leaving surrounding healthy tissues intact. It is for patients with large and advanced tumors. In more upbeat news about the youngest Beatle, AP now reports that Harrison has recorded a new song, “Horse to the Water,” to be released this month. The song was recorded with British pianist and bandleader Jools Holland at Harrison’s home in Switzerland last month, said Holland’s official Web site, which described it as “a cross between 1960s’ Bob Dylan and 1970s’ John Lennon . . . not a ballad and not rock.” The song’s publishing credit is listed as “RIP Ltd. 2001,” apparently short for “rest in peace.” Holland’s site said the credit “reveals George’s dark sense of humor.”

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