CancerCare Manitoba
News Item

December 4, 2015

Province Announces New Radiation Equipment Will Allow More Targeted Treatment, Better Outcomes

Equipment to Make a Real Difference For Patients: Minister Blady

New equipment that allows for more targeted treatment and better outcomes after radiation for patients with ovarian, cervical, uterine and other cancers will soon be offered at CancerCare Manitoba, Health Minister Sharon Blady said today.

"This equipment allows radiation to be more focused, protecting healthy tissue around the tumor from damage that can be caused by radiation treatment," said Minister Blady. "This makes a real difference for patients by allowing treatment to be customized for each person, leading to better outcomes and faster recovery times."

Known as high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, the new equipment allows the placement of catheters close to or inside a tumour to deliver radiation from radioactive pellets directly to where it is most needed. Computers are used to control how far a pellet goes into a catheter and how long it is used to release radiation. By using the CT simulator, the treatment can be tailored to the exact shape, size and location of the tumor.

"CancerCare Manitoba appreciates the government?s commitment to provide Manitobans with leading-edge equipment to treat cancer," said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and chief executive officer of CancerCare Manitoba. "The CT simulator, when used with high-dose radiation therapy, will provide individualized treatment to women with gynecological cancers in Manitoba. The next step will be to use the same equipment to treat prostate cancer."

Each year, more than 300 women in Manitoba with cervical and uterine cancers could benefit from treatment with this new technology, the minister said. When not in use for treating gynecological cancers, the equipment will be used for other patients with complex care needs and for cancer research.

Every year, the Manitoba government invests approximately $30 million in new and replacement equipment across the province.

The minister noted new equipment can improve diagnosis and treatment, support staff retention by providing modern, up-to-date equipment, reduce testing duplication and improve ergonomics for patients and staff.

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