(STMW) — Cardinal Francis George will participate in a clinical research trial of a new cancer treatment drug.

The drug “may work by activating cells of the immune system enabling them to attack cancer cells,” the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement Friday. “This approach differs from that of traditional chemotherapy, which uses drugs designed to be toxic to cancer cells. A preliminary trial of this new drug has shown promising results for patients who have the same type of cancer as Cardinal George.”

The clinical research trial is being conducted at the University of Chicago Medicine.

But doctors at Loyola University Medical Center continue to treat George, 77.

George disclosed in March that he was undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer surrounding his right kidney and that he expected the cancer to likely be the cause of his death. He was diagnosed with cancer in August 2012 and underwent chemotherapy at that time. The cancer, which had been dormant for more than a year, was confined to the right kidney.

George had radical surgery to remove his cancerous bladder, prostate and part of his right ureter in July of 2006. He spent 19 days at Loyola University Medical Center and emerged cancer-free.

George recently underwent a regular medical procedure at Loyola to replace a stent in his ureter, the archdiocese also disclosed Friday. The procedure has been done routinely ever six months over the last few years, the archdiocese said.

George will continue his regular schedule.

He submitted his letter of resignation in 2012, as all bishops are required to do when they reach 75 years of age. At the time, he said he hoped to remain at the helm of the Chicago archdiocese for a few more years. The archdiocese announced in May a search for his successor had begun.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)