Radiation Oncology



Stereotactic radiation (known as SRS/SRT/SBRT), a type of therapeutic radiation, is a new option for pets battling cancer at NorthStar VETS. SRT is a least-invasive and nonsurgical procedure proven effective in human medicine that utilizes extremely precise radiation dosing to either shrink a tumor or slow its growth.

This precision means that a more concentrated and impactful dose of radiation can be delivered during each visit, reducing the number of trips to the hospital for treatment while greatly sparing the surrounding, healthy tissues. SRT can be completed in just 1-3 sessions while conventional therapeutic radiation may take between 15-21 sessions to achieve similar tumor control. Therefore, radiation-related side effects are typically less common and less severe with SRT. Most pets maintain a very good quality of life during and following treatment.

While SRT protocols can be used for all types of tumors, they are ideal for localized cancer that has not spread significantly throughout the body. In addition, SRT may be used in place of a complex surgery in critical locations such as the brain or spine.

What to Expect

Your pet's visit will begin with an initial consultation and checkup along with any necessary diagnostic testing to confirm details about the cancer. From there, you will meet with a board-certified radiation oncologist who will walk you through the treatment options, next steps, and answer your questions. Once the plan is in place, we will schedule your pet's first appointment.

Prior to treatment, a planning CT scan will be necessary to create the radiation treatment plan. This imaging study can take between 1-2 hours which includes placing your pet under anesthesia. Each radiation treatment itself lasts between 15-20 minutes, but may be longer depending on tumor size.

Treatments are delivered consecutively. As radiation treatment is not a painful procedure, no recovery time is needed once your pet wakes up from anesthesia - so your pet can go home with you the same day. You can expect your pet to behave normally after treatment, too! Tumor size reduction and improvement of symptoms will happen over the days, weeks and months that follow, so it is important that you bring your pet in for periodic follow up visits to track progress.

Ideal treatment sites for Radiation Oncology include:
  • Brain tumors
    • Glioma
    • Meningioma
    • Pituitary tumors
  • Extremity tumors of skin and connective tissues
    • Infiltrative lipoma
    • Mast cell tumors (MCT)
    • Osteosarcoma (OSA)
    • Soft tissue sarcoma (STS), including:
      • Fibrosarcoma (FSA)
      • Hemangiopericytoma
      • Peripheral nerve sheath tumors
      • Schwannoma
      • Spindle cell sarcoma
  • Head and neck
    • Acanthomatous amelioblastoma
    • Adenocarcinoma
    • Fibrosarcoma (FSA)
    • Nasal tumors
    • Oral melanoma
    • Plasmacytoma
    • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Kidney tumors
  • Liver tumors
  • Lung tumors
  • Pancreatic tumors
  • Pelvic canal tumors
    • Anal gland adenocarcinoma (AGASACA)
    • Prostatic tumors
  • Spinal tumors
  • Thyroid tumors
Learn more about SRS/SRT/SBRT at https://petcureoncology.com/.

Visit the Medical Oncology page.