Revolutionary New Cancer-Fighting Device Begins Helping East Texans

A new type of cancer treatment is available in East Texas. It's called Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, or IMRT.

East Texas Medical Center spent nearly $4 million on the new machine and to train it's staff. The machine has the ability to tightly focus a beam of radiation, treating just the tumor instead of the surrounding healthy tissue. Patient Ersel Young is the first to be treated with the new device. He says he was a bit apprehensive, until he learned how it could dramatically reduce side effects.

"First, I thought I was going to be a guinea pig, but when I looked it up, found out what it was, I was glad I was going to be on this machine," Young says.

Dr. Kolker says not everyone has a tumor that is best treated with IMRT. In fact, he puts the figure at only one patient out of four.