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April 17, 2007

Province Investing $7.5 Million to Bring Leading-edge, Non-invasive Surgery Technology to Manitoba

Province Will Be a World Leader In Non-invasive Surgery: Doer

The Siemens Artiste


The province is investing more than $7.5 million to bring leading-edge, non-invasive surgery technology to Manitoba to increase access to care and to continue to provide quality health care for Manitobans, Premier Gary Doer announced today.

"With the purchase of this state-of-the-art technology, our world-class staff will be able to deliver world-class cancer treatment right here in Manitoba," said Doer. "Today's announcement builds on our previous technological investments and will firmly establish our province as a leading site for
radiosurgery."

The Siemens Artiste combines a linear accelerator with imaging technology to deliver a high-precision, image-guided dose of radiotherapy to any part of the body. Unlike conventional linear accelerators, the combination of these technologies allows for high-precision doses that are constantly adjusted to ensure the right dose is precisely focused on the tumour, reducing damage to healthy surrounding tissues.

Dr. Brian Postl, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, said the acquisition of the technology - which uses adaptive radiation therapy (ART) - will make Winnipeg one of only a few cities worldwide that has the combination of this type of technology along with a gamma knife, positron emission tomography/computerized (axial) tomography (PET-CT) scanner and cyclotron.

"That greatly enhances our ability to continue to recruit and retain the best and the brightest medical staff available, while providing Manitobans with access to the most innovative health-care technology in the world," said Postl.

Dr. Michael West, co-director of the Winnipeg Centre for Gamma Knife Surgery said the acquisition of the Artiste will dramatically improve patient care. "As with gamma knife procedures, patients remain awake, there's no incision and so the risks of infection and other complications are virtually
eliminated," he said. "Patients who have undergone gamma knife procedures tell us just what a difference it has made in their lives."

In addition to the province's $7.5-million investment, the Health Sciences Centre Foundation has committed to raise an additional $3 million for the project.

Dr. Brock Wright, chief operating officer of Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, said the HSC Foundation fundraising effort will be led by Hubert Kleysen, chair of the Breakthrough! Campaign. "We are delighted that Mr. Kleysen has agreed to lead this effort as he has been instrumental in working with the region and government to make this vision a reality."

With this technology, some patients with inoperable tumours will now be eligible for surgery. The equipment will be used to perform a number of different kinds of procedures including surgeries for:

  • spine lesions that do not respond well to standard
    radiation;

  • lung cancers that were previously inoperable or could
    not be treated with standard radiation due to limited lung
    function;

  • liver cancers that have spread from other areas of the
    body and are usually fatal;

  • kidney cancers that are not typically responsive to
    standard radiation; and

  • cancers of the pelvis such as rectal, cervical and
    prostate.

The equipment will be located in the Siemens Institute of Advance Medicine building currently under construction at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre.

Andy Hind, vice-president of Siemens Canada, said this builds on the successful partnership between Siemens and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

"Through the Siemens Institute for Advanced Medicine, we are working together with the region, HSC and the Province of Manitoba to ensure patients have access to the very latest, trendsetting healthcare technology. Working with our partners to provide the highest quality patient care and improved outcomes is our ultimate goal," said Hind.

"It is very satisfying too that the technology we've developed has had, and continues to have, a profound effect on clinical and research applications to directly impact the lives of patients."

Installation and operation of the Artiste is expected by fall 2008.

Manitoba Health

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