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Edinburgh installs new veterinary linear accelerator
The new accelerator is equipped to deliver the most advanced forms of radiation therapy.

Advanced therapy offers new cancer treatment options

The University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies has announced the introduction of a new linear accelerator, placing it at the forefront of veterinary cancer treatment in Europe.


The new accelerator is designed to provide more targeted treatment, meaning that higher doses of radiation can be given less frequently. It also means that patients can have a shorter stay in hospital and receive fewer anaesthetics.


Offering the same cutting edge treatment options you will find in any human hospital, the accelerator is equipped to deliver the most advanced forms of radiation therapy. This includes static gantry intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), dynamic gantry IMRT/RarpidArc, electron therapy and conventional 3D radiation therapy. 


It will be operated by a team including American and European boarded veterinary radiation oncologist Dr Magdalena Parys, European board certified oncologist Juan Carlos Serra, and therapeutic radiographer Emma McCormick. 


The University said in a press release: “IMRT is an advanced treatment technique, which allows the delivery of a precise dose of treatment to almost any tumour shape. In particular cases, this technique reduces the dose to normal structures, which decreases side effects in normal tissues which are close to the tumour. 


“Secondly, can IMRT allow an increased total dose of radiation to be delivered to the tumour. A common example is the use of IMRT to spare the eyes, brain, skin and oral cavity when treating nasal tumours. R(D)SVS is the only place in the UK to offer IMRT.”


The accelerator is also equipped with cone-beam CT imaging facilities, which enables the radiation oncologist to position the animal with greater accuracy so that treatment is safer and more effective. It is the only veterinary linear accelerator UK with this capability. 


The University added: "The new radiation unit will also soon be able to treat patients with stereotactic radiotherapy. This is a type of protocol that usually consists of one, two or three high-dose radiotherapy fractions, delivered with pin-point accuracy and in a short period of time. 


“By giving much more targeted treatment you can give high doses less frequently as you are mainly hitting the tumour cells, not the adjacent normal tissues. It also means a shorter stay in the hospital and less anaesthetics. This type of radiotherapy treatment modality has been successfully implemented in other places in the world for many tumour types, such as nasal and brain tumours.”

Image (C) University of Edinburgh.

 

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New York to ban sale of foie gras

News Story 1
 New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill “tackles the most inhumane process” in the commercial food industry. “This is one of the most violent practices, and it’s done for a purely luxury product,” she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America’s largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu. 

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Humane Slaughter Association student scholarships open for applications

Applications for the Humane Slaughter Association’s student/trainee Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarships are now open.

The Scholarships provide funding to enable students or trainees in the industry to undertake a project aimed at improving the welfare of food animals during marketing, transport and slaughter. The project may be carried out as an integral part of a student's coursework over an academic year, or during the summer break.

The deadline for applications is midnight on the 28 February 2020. To apply and for further information visit www.hsa.org.uk/grants or contact the HSA office.