Advanced radiation therapy now available

By Cindy H. Rice

When the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital moved into its new facility, it upgraded its linear accelerator to one of the most advanced models available, the Trilogy® system, putting UGA on the leading edge of veterinary radiation therapy nationwide.

One of the main advantages of this machine is its ability to deliver radiation beams to a tumor with significantly increased accuracy, sparing more of the surrounding normal tissue. This results in decreased side effects in a significant proportion of our patients.

This accuracy also allows us to offer stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT) for the treatment of certain types of tumors, such as nasal, brain and spinal tumors. SRT is different from traditional radiation therapy in that a higher dose of radiation can be used. As a result, the number of radiation treatments needed decreases (for example, from 20 treatments to one to five treatments). This is especially advantageous for veterinary patients, since they require general anesthesia for each radiation therapy session.

Our radiation oncology service, lead by Dr. Koichi Nagata, recently completed its first case using SRT, placing UGA among an elite group of veterinary hospitals currently offering this treatment option.

The new linear accelerator also allows the Hospital to treat more types of tumors than before. This may potentially include lung tumors and liver tumors. Also, bone tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, mast cell tumors and urogenital tumors, such as bladder/prostate tumors, can be treated with improved effectiveness. 

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