Radiation therapy is a treatment option available at the Animal Cancer Centre that provides local control of the tumor either for palliation or curative intent. Radiation can be used alone or combined with surgery and/ or chemotherapy. The DNA of cancer cells are damaged by the high energy radiation resulting in death of the cancer cells. However, radiation therapy can also damage normal cells in the surrounding tissue, thus careful planning of the treatment is necessary to minimize side effects.
The Ontario Veterinary College is the only institute in Canada that has the new Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator, which offers precise positioning of the patient and tumor targeting. This state-of-the-art technology allows our radiation oncologist Dr. Valerie Poirier to give the highest dose of radiation possible to the cancerous cells while limiting radiation exposure to normal tissue, thus minimizing side effects associated with radiation therapy.
Our radiation therapist guides the linear accelerator table into position for River’s treatment for her oral melanoma.