A new purpose-built ‘Radiation Oncology Facility’ for dogs and cats that officially opened its doors in Sydney in March is already saving lives.
The groundbreaking facility, built by the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) in North Ryde—and the subject of a previous Veterinary News story—boasts Australia’s first dedicated veterinary linear accelerator with stereotactic capability.
Since opening, the facility has treated a number of animals with some pet owners experiencing extraordinary improvements in their pets’ health within a matter of weeks.
“The new centre is revolutionising the treatment of cancer in pets,” SASH managing director Dr Justin Wimpole said. “We will be able to save and extend the lives of pets across the country as a result of this incredible technology.”
The central feature of the facility is the new Elekta Synergy Agility Linear Accelerator which is one of the most technologically advanced cancer treating linear accelerators available. It is commonly seen in many human radiation treatment facilities throughout the world, providing stereotactic, definitive and palliative radiation treatments all in the one machine.
“The beauty of the machine is that it allows us to treat some cancers of very small areas with minimal effects on surrounding normal tissues and in a shorter period of time to what was previously the case,” Dr Wimpole said.
“We are able to focus the delivery and strength of the radiation in a very precise and direct manner for our patients. This means we can maximally treat the cancer with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
“Our entire philosophy is based around ensuring that pets and their owners receive the best care without compromise and support throughout the cancer treatment process,” Dr Wimpole added. “This is certainly a world-class facility for our furry friends.”