We are beyond excited to announce that SASH is currently in its 4th month of constructing our new Radiation Oncology Facility at our North Ryde location that will house Australia’s first dedicated Veterinary Linear Accelerator with stereotactic capability! This will improve the lives of many of our cancer patients, making treatment possible for what otherwise would have been a terminal condition.
WHAT IS RADIATION THERAPY?
Radiation therapy uses ultra-high x-ray beams to damage DNA within cells in cancer tissue to kill the cell and stop it from being able to replicate. The radiation treatment itself is not painful, it feels exactly like having an x-ray taken! For our veterinary patients, it is vital that they remain perfectly still to ensure the treatment is administered to the right place so general anesthesia is required.
WHAT CANCERS AND OTHER DISEASES CAN BE TREATED WITH RADIATION THERAPY?
Almost every type of cancer can be treated with radiation therapy in some form. Radiation therapy is usually combined with surgery and chemotherapy. Definitive radiation has been successfully used for veterinary patients with mast cell tumours, soft tissue sarcomas, brain tumours, oral fibrosarcomas and squamous cell carcinoma. Stereotactic radiation therapy has been successfully used for veterinary patients with brain tumours, nasal tumours, liver tumours, osteosarcoma and feline injection site sarcomas.
WHAT MAKES THE MACHINE AT SASH SO SPECIAL?
The machine that is being installed will be a brand new Elekta Synergy Agility Linear Accelerator with stereotactic capability and many other advantages for treating cancer patients.
- The most up-to-date, technologically advanced machine available
- The ability to provide stereotactic, definitive and palliative radiation with the one machine
- On-site treatment, with no need for transport to and from the facility reducing the risk to recovering patients
- Ability for patients to be treated as a ‘day procedure’ or to board for the length of their treatment course
- Ability to treat very small areas with minimal effects on surrounding normal tissues
- The ability to treat very large or multiple areas with varying energies
- Faster treatment times = shorter anesthesia times for our veterinary patients
- Continuous dose monitoring via on board imaging and positioning devices, to ensure that there is minimal damage to non-target structures
We cannot wait to have this new service up and running and will be providing further progress updates over the coming months!