High-Tech Treatment, Locally
4:57 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

New Machine Offers Precise Radiation Therapy

Rhinelander is home to a new piece of state-of-the-art cancer treatment technology.  As WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski reports, Ministry Health Care’s James Beck Cancer Center held a ribbon cutting for the machine Wednesday.

The TrueBeam Linear Accelerator can rotate to provide more accurate radiation therapy.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The True Beam Linear Accelerator offers radiation therapy that’s much more precise than previous technology at James Beck.  It also has powerful imaging capabilities which help to give a more accurate picture of a tumor.   

Radiation therapist Lynnette Fittante demonstrates how the machine even rotates around the patient.

“We now have the capability of really shrinking down the treatment field, sparing the healthy tissue while giving the maximum dose to the tumor, or to the cancer.” 

Radiation Oncology Manager Kim Hetland is hoping the new machine will help change a perception that local cancer patients have to leave Rhinelander to get the best care.

Ministry Health Care's James Beck Cancer Center held a ribbon cutting for the new machine Wednesday.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

“There are patients within our community that feel they have to travel because they feel that they aren’t going to get the very best care here.  And quite honestly, the machine and the capabilities is one of the best in the state.”

The machine has been in use since November.  Hetland says radiation oncology at James Beck sees about 25 patients a day.