Our oncology referral service is run by Dr Riccardo Minelli. In the treatment of cancer our aim is always to put the pet’s welfare first. We appreciate that opting for a course of cancer treatment for a pet can be very emotionally traumatic for an owner so we explore all possible options and give owners as much time as they need to make the decision that is right for them and their pet. Before any treatment programme is begun we discuss the client’s wishes and expectations and then decide on the most appropriate course of treatment for their pet.
Photodynamic Therapy This is a relatively new treatment that can be used for the treatment of SCC in situ in cats ( squamous cell carcinoma of the ears and nose ) and superficial bladder tumours. After iv or topical application of a photosensitising agent which preferentially accumulates in cancer cells . the tumour is then exposed to light produced either by a laser or other sources of light, this activates the photosensitizer leading to the production of an active form of oxygen that destroys nearby cancer cells. In addition to directly killing cancer cells , PDT appears to shrink or destroy tumours in two other ways. The photosensitiser can damage blood vessels in the tumour which will prevent the tumour from receiving necessary nutrients and as a result the starved tumour will shrink. In addition PDT may stimulate the animal’s immune system to attack the tumour cells. Side effects of PDT can include sloughing of the treated areas, the pet may also be sensitive to the sun for a few weeks.