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Cancer centre opens for animals

A state of the art cancer centre is to provide the latest therapies to animals and give insight into cancers in humans.

Scrooble the collie and Prof David Argyle looking through a CT scanner

The £3 million centre at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is the first facility of its kind in Scotland.

The centre will provide radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery for animals and treat around 20 cases each week.

The centre forms part of the School’s Hospital for Small Animals at Easter Bush.

It is installed with the latest equipment including a linear accelerator to provide radiotherapy and a CT scanner for diagnosis, which is large enough to take scans of horses.

The cancer centre will have the most sophisticated diagnostic procedures, followed by comprehensive cancer therapies for pets. It will also pave the way for comparative medicine, relating what we know about the disease in animals to humans to improve treatments for all.

Professor David ArgyleDirector of the Cancer Centre at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Improving treatment

The spread of cancer in cats and dogs is similar to the spread of cancer in humans.

The centre, which was officially opened by the Duchess of Hamilton, aims to inform improvements in treatments for both animals and people.

When Scrooble was undergoing treatment, the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. The new centre will be a fantastic addition to the care given to animals with cancer.

Sarah HawkswellOwner of Scrooble, a Border Collie treated at the Hospital for Small Animals

Research will include identifying cancer causing genes, understanding tumour progression and analysing the role of stem cells in cancer.

The cancer centre forms part of a £100 million development on the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies’ Easter Bush site, which includes a research building and a teaching building.

Success story

One visitor to the centre was Scrooble, a seven year-old border collie who was a former patient at the Hospital for Small Animals.

Scrooble went onto become a finalist in the Crufts Flyball agility contest six months after receiving successfully chemotherapy treatment for cancer.