Regina and Saskatoon get new radiation machines for cancer treatment

Regina and Saskatoon get new radiation machines for cancer treatment

A $5-million new machine for cancer radiation therapy was unveiled in Regina on Friday.

The TrueBeam linear accelerator, also known as a linac, has been installed at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency's Allan Blair Cancer Centre in Regina.

The provincial government also announced another replacement machine worth $3.8 million would be installed in Saskatoon.

Higher doses, greater precision

The TrueBeam machines, which will replace older devices in both cities, can deliver higher doses of radiation more quickly and with greater precision.  

The province said the new machines also provide better integration with imaging systems than any other current or previous machines.  

Saskatchewan Cancer Agency interim president Dr. Jon Tonita said the equipment was state-of-the-art.

"It does offer us significant treatment options for our patients to ensure they are getting the best treatment available," he said.

"Having this machine, and now another one that will be coming into Saskatoon, is really excellent for the cancer agency and for the patients we serve."

New Saskatoon machine

Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said cancer had impacted the lives of his own family members.

"I don't know if you can talk to many people who haven't been touched by cancer in one way, shape or form, my family included," he said.

Each of the cancer agency's centres houses three linear accelerators, which have an operating life of about 10 years.  

The Saskatoon Cancer Centre already has one TrueBeam and the new machine announced on Friday will replace its oldest machine.