MEET STELLA! VSEC’s new, cutting-edge Varian Silhouette Linear Accelerator!
(At the VSEC Levittown location)
Our new Varian Linear Accelerator utilizes on-board, advanced imaging (Megavoltage/kilovoltage x-ray imaging, and cone beam CT) to deliver highly accurate treatments with exceptional precision.
The Radiation Service at VSEC utilizes one of the most advanced Varian Linear Accelerators to deliver photon (x-ray) and electron therapeutic radiation. This machine powers both x-rays and electrons to a higher energy than previous technology, allowing for skin and superficial tissues to be spared radiation dose for a depth of up to 1.5cm. For superficially located tumors, a spectrum of electron energies can be employed to treat the targeted cancer, while sparing underlying critical structures such as heart, lungs, and abdominal organs.
We are one of only TWO LOCATIONS in Pennsylvania that offer stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT/SRS), intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and 2D/3D conformal radiation therapy on the same, state-of-the-art linear accelerator.
VSEC is one of the few private practice veterinary hospitals in Eastern PA that has an on-site, full-time radiation oncologist. Radiation plans created in the Pinnacle treatment software maybe be viewed by three additional radiation oncologists for case discussion and treatment plan improvement. The Radiation Oncology Service at VSEC is also complemented by three medical oncologists and three service dedicated veterinary technicians, who provide compassionate and comprehensive care for each individual patient.
Coming soon! July 2018: INTRODUCING VMAT (volumetric-modulated arc therapy – RapidArc®)! This modality utilizes a constantly moving beam-shaper (multileaf collimator) AND concurrent linear accelerator gantry motion in a 90 – 360° arc to deliver stereotactic radiation therapy.
VMAT (RapidArc® treatment delivery) enhances dose conformity over tumor volumes, with greater normal tissue sparing capability and lesser anesthesia time than IMRT. This modality allows us to treat cancers such as vascularly invasive adrenal tumors!
The list of dog and cat cancers treatable with therapeutic radiation at VSEC includes:
- Soft tissue sarcoma (hemangiopericytoma, schwannoma, peripheral nerve sheath tumor, myxosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, liposarcoma)
- Mast cell tumor
- Nasal tumors (including feline nasal lymphoma)
- Heart base tumors (chemodectoma)
- Bladder tumors (transitional cell carcinoma)
- Brain tumors
- Spinal tumors/vertebral body tumors
- Thyroid carcinoma
- Pituitary gland tumors
- Oral/extramedullary plasmacytoma
- Oral tumors (squamous cell carcinoma, fibrosarcoma, others)
- Feline injection site sarcoma
- Anal sac tumors/carcinoma
- Adrenal tumors with greater blood vessel invasion
- Many more
When a cure, or long term tumor control is not possible, radiation therapy may be used in a palliative setting to improve quality of life and increase comfort for patients with tumors such as:
- Primary bone tumors (osteosarcoma)
- Oral malignant melanoma
- Skin (dermal) hemangiosarcoma.
- Inoperable, large tumors
- Cancers in geriatric patients in which more aggressive treatment does not afford a quality of life benefit
In addition to treating cancer and resolving residual cancer disease left behind in a surgical site, therapeutic radiation therapy may be used as treatment for benign processes such as oral epulides, nasal polyps, infiltrative lipomas and lick granulomas. Therapeutic radiation is also utilized to treat chronic rhinitis (nasal cavity inflammation) that is refractory to medical treatment, with control times of over 12 months!
As you can see, there are very few limitations to what tumor types therapeutic radiation can be of benefit to your dog or cat. If other treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, or palliative treatments would be a better selection, rest assured that the Oncology Specialists at VSEC will formulate the best plan for your pet, keeping quality of life and family wishes at the forefront of treatment decisions.