Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Mayo Clinic opens $188M advanced cancer treatment facility

Author:

Mayo Clinic celebrated the grand opening of a new advanced cancer therapy center in Rochester this weekend.

The $188 million proton-beam therapy facility in downtown Rochester, named the Richard O. Jacobson Building, will begin treating patients in June, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports.

The 100,000-square-foot building has been under construction for more than three years. It was named after Jacobson in recognition of his $100 million gift to the project.

Proton beam therapy is a relatively new technology for treating cancerous tumors that is more precise than traditional radiation therapy, and has fewer side effects. This video explains more.

This embed is invalid

The head of the Mayo proton beam therapy program, Dr. Robert Foote, says the new approach will be especially beneficial for treating cancer in children because it will reduce the amount of radiation their growing bodies are exposed to, the Post-Bulletin notes.

"We can cure 85 percent of kids with cancers," Foote said, "but two-thirds of them will have chronic health problems related to the radiation exposure of conventional treatment."

One downside of the new technology is the cost – proton-beam therapy can cost up to 70 percent more than regular radiation therapy, according to the Post Bulletin, and it's not always covered by insurance.

Some critics have questioned Mayo's decision to build not one, but two proton-beam facilities. The other one is at the Mayo campus in Arizona, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

A New York Times op-ed said the expensive machinery is contributing to a "medical arms race," and notes the new technology has not been proven more effective than less expensive options.

Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy responded to the criticism in a letter to the Times, which said the Mayo's main interest in using new treatments is to help its patients and benefit science.

Here's a time-lapse video showing the construction of the new facility.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.

Nolan Sprengeler - muskie record - nov 2021

Angler officially breaks 64-year-old state muskie record

The muskellunge he caught on Nov. 22 weighed a whopping 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.

amelia huffman

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman named interim chief of the Minneapolis PD

She lives in Uptown and has been with the MPD for 27 years.

Related