Gifts Bring TomoTherapy to Pets

Memorial Union Terrace Dog

A dozen years ago, families who came to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and its Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital agreed to treat their dogs’ nasal tumors with the yet untested TomoTherapy. These trials of the innovative radiation treatment paved the way for it to be approved for human use.

Thanks to private support, the first veterinary application of TomoTherapy is available in the School’s new Radiation Therapy Clinic. Dogs and cats are benefitting from the treatment that allows veterinarians to pinpoint a tumor’s size, shape and location seconds before radiation therapy begins.

No state funds were used to build the School’s Radiation Therapy Clinic and install the TomoTherapy unit. Gifts provided $2.5 million for the building and $1.95 million for the radiation equipment.

The School – one of only 28 veterinary medical schools in the United States and the only one in Wisconsin – is the first to install TomoTherapy for its animal patients. “We have one of the best veterinary oncology groups in the world,” says Dr. Ruthanne Chun, head of veterinary clinical oncology. “This is going to make us that much better. The precise TomoTherapy treatment will preserve healthy tissue and retain a higher quality of life for pets.”

For more information

To read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s coverage of the clinic that opened January 28, visit UW veterinary school uses focused radiation.