SASH Sydney has installed the first linear accelerator with stereotactic capability, specifically for pets in Australia. This is consistent with our aim to offer advanced and outstanding oncology care to all veterinary patients.
There are only two animal radiation facilities in the whole of Australia and SASH has built the newest centre with the latest Linear Accelerator.
Helping to evolve Australia’s veterinary medicine.
The bespoke and architecturally designed, Radiation Service compliant facility at SASH houses a brand new Elekta Synergy LINAC, the same model as those found in top human hospitals, to provide the most up to date radiation therapy globally available.
Different from traditional surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery does not require cutting into tissue with a scalpel. Instead, it uses highly precise beams of intense radiation to accurately target and kill tumours and cancer cells, while minimising damage to healthy surrounding cells.
The Elekta Synergy LINAC has advanced imaging capabilities with a large field of view. This allows our specialists to see more of the patient, more easily, to maximise accuracy.
It also uses state of the art beam technology that is more energy-efficient compared to other models, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
What does the LINAC treat?
Radiation therapy can be used effectively for many cancer treatments. Radiation Therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays to treat cancer. In some instances, it may also be used in the treatment of some benign conditions. It is a highly-localised therapy, which means it affects only the part of the body where the radiation is targeted. Whilst radiation is directed at the tumour specifically, a small amount of healthy tissue will also be irradiated to ensure that any microscopic disease will also be treated. All efforts are made to design a treatment which is in the best interest of your beloved pet, maximising the impact on the tumour and minimising the effect on all healthy tissues and organs.
Radiation works by damaging the DNA within a cell. This damage interferes with the cell’s cycle, limiting its ability to grow and divide, ultimately leading to the cell’s death. Over time, this interruption will result in tumour control, shrinkage or eradication.
The LINAC can be used to treat several cancers, which include:
- Acanthomatous ameloblastoma (mouth)
- Adrenal (a hormone gland above kidney)
- Anal Sac adenocarcinoma
- Arthritis (refractory)
- Bladder and prostate
- Brain and pituitary (small organ at the case of the brain)
- Carcinomas (I.e. skin or organ linings)
- Heart tumours
- Dermal and subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma (blood vessel walls)
- Infiltrative lipomas (fatty lump)
- Injection site sarcoma (tumours from injections/implants)
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver)
- Lymphomas – nasal or localised e.g. epitheliotropic (white blood cell cancer)
- Melanoma (type of skin cancer)
- Meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and its membranes)
- Multilobular osteochondrosarcoma (a type of bone cancer)
- Nasal tumours
- Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
- Salivary mucoceles (cyst from the saliva of a damaged gland or duct)
- Soft tissue sarcomas (mouth and skin)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (type of skin cancer)
- Thymomas (thymus, a lymph organ)
- Thyroid carcinomas
- Tonsillar tumours
What makes radiation therapy at SASH so special?
The Elekta Synergy Agility Linear Accelerator with stereotactic capability and is the most up-to-date, technologically advanced machine available. It has many other advantages for treating cancer patients including:
- 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
- Patients can be treated as a ‘day procedure’ or to board for the length of their treatment course
- It can treat very small areas with minimal effects on surrounding normal tissue
- It can treat very large or multiple areas with varying energies
- Faster treatment times = shorter anaesthesia 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
The SASH Radiation Oncology service is also special due to our incredible on site team that involves a Radiation Oncologist, Radiation Therapist and dedicated Radiation Nurse. We also have a great physics team ensuring that all plans meet the standards expected in human hospitals.