“High-Tech Wizardry”

A battery of new technology brings cancer treatment into the 21st century
By Margaret Combs
Tufts Veterinary Medicine Magazine – Spring 2000

Diagnostic speed and precision can save a cancer patient’s life. At Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, an armory of new and powerful diagnostic technologies is enabling veterinary specialists in the Harrington Oncology Program to more accurately localize tumors, more effectively plan cancer therapy, and complete diagnostic procedures in half the time.

“Imaging and biopsy prodecures, which used to take two hours, can now be done in 30 to 60 minutes,” confirms Dr. Antony Moore, head of the Harrington Oncology Program, one of the leading animal cancer treatment centers in the nation. “We’re not only getting more accurate diagnoses with technology, but our animal patients are spending less time under anesthesia.”

Providing these new capabilities is a $1.4 million computerized tomography (CT) scanner funded by Photogen Technologies, Inc. Installed in the veterinary school’s radiology facility in February, it is the only one of its kind at any veterinary facility. Arriving as part of a five-year cancer therapy research collaboration between Tufts and Photogen, the spiral CT scanner, which uses radiation to produce cross-sectional images of an animal’s internal anatomy, is actually a “suite” of integrated diagnostic tools that provides not only scanning but biopsy capabilities. Attached to one side of the scanner is a computer-integrated device known as PinPoint, which allows veterinarians to pre-calculate the precise angle, trajectory and depth of a biopsy needle insertion.

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