Conformal Radiation Oncology Now Offered at UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital

The UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital is pleased to announce the addition of conformal radiation software for use with its linear accelerator in treating hard-to-reach tumors in small animals.

The new software directs the linear accelerator to accurately control the location and intensity of the radiation beam to conform to the shape of the patient’s tumor. As a result of the “conformal” beam shaping, the radiation dose bends around normal tissue, which is not possible with other radiation techniques. The goal is to treat the tumor with effective radiation doses and diminish normal tissue side effects from radiation.

The new treatment planning software is used to create individualized radiation therapy plans for cancer patients using a multileaf collimator (MLC) in the linear accelerator. The MLC consists of motorized lead leaves that can be customized to move in and out of the radiation field to block normal tissues near the tumor. The planning software uses computerized tomography (CT) images to calculate the radiation dose in different areas so that the radiation oncologist can maximize the tumor dose while sparing normal tissues. This approach will be especially beneficial for animals with hard-to-reach tumors like intra-nasal and brain tumors.

“The addition of the treatment planner gives us the ability to provide a targeted approach to radiation therapy,” said Dr. Michelle Turek. “It is a sophisticated way of treating tumors, which will greatly benefit many of our patients.”

The UGA VTH radiation oncology team is led by Dr. Turek and Dr. Jessica Lawrence, both who are boarded in medical and radiation oncology.
For more information about the conformal radiation therapy or other offerings at the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital, please contact our veterinary referral coordinators at 800-861-7456 (Small Animal), or visit www.vet.uga.edu/hospital.

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