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Atheist Hitchens treated by Christian

March 26, 2011 at 12:52 PM

LONDON, March 26 (UPI) -- Christopher Hitchens, a writer known as a devout atheist, says he is receiving cancer treatment from a U.S. doctor who is also an advocate for religious faith.

In an interview with a London newspaper, the British-born Hitchens, who is now a U.S. citizen, described himself as a "guinea pig" for treatment aimed at attacking his cancer of the esophagus on the genetic level.

"I'm an experiment," he said.

Hitchens and Dr. Frank Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, became friends after meeting in debate.

Both have written books on religion. Hitchens is the author of "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," while Collins wrote "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief."

"It is a rather wonderful relationship," Hitchens said. "I won't say he doesn't pray for me, because I think he probably does; but he doesn't discuss it with me."

He said scientists have found a mutation in the DNA of cancerous cells that happens to be one with an existing chemotherapy. He takes one pill a day, although if this doesn't work, he acknowledges he may be out of options.

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