The first of 550 tons of steel beams has been pounded into the foundation of the new Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse. Up to now, most of the work has been prepping the area next to the existing hospital entrance.
Center Medical Director Leslie Kohman says the only delays came after a new piece of cancer fighting equipment came on the market.
"A few months ago we got an opportunity to get a brand new type of linear accelerator for radiation treatment, that hadn't been on the market before. There's only one currently in operation in the united states, and we'll be the third. This required digging one of these holes deeper than originally planned," said Kohman.
She says the new technology will make a big difference for cancer patients.
The linear accelerator "provides more precise aiming of the radiation therapy beam, less damage to surrounding tissues," said Kohman. "The patient can move, the beam can move, angle, so the radiation treatment can be directed with extreme precision to exactly where the tumor is."
The $50 million center is expected to open in the fall of 2013. The five-story facility will treat cancer in both children and adults.